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Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Page: 11916

Mr DICK (Oxley) (18:56): I am proud to support these amendments moved by the member for Hotham, and we are yet to hear an excuse or reason from the government about why they are not supporting them. We have heard a lot of comments from the minister at the table that this is a stunt or that six years ago Labor didn't introduce penalties, but we haven't actually heard an argument as to why they don't think the penalties should be increased from 10 to 15 years. Or is it the case, by their silence, that they think it's enough? I can tell you who don't think it's enough: the tens of thousands of people who have been ripped off by the banks in this country.

I am sick and tired of members of the government talking in nice language today about 'not meeting community standards' or 'falling below where we should be'. If the government weren't so busy ripping themselves apart, worrying about who is defecting next or doing over each other, they would actually have a look at these amendments. The first is a sensible and, I think, prudent way to send a very clear message to the industry that what they are doing and what they want to do is simply unacceptable. I know increasing those penalties from 10 to 15 years sends the strongest possible signal. I don't understand why the minister thinks it's unreasonable to go from 10 to 15 years. What is the excuse? What is the reason why they think 10 years is somehow enough? It doesn't meet community standards. I say to the minister: it doesn't meet the community standards of the victims that I spoke to in my office with the shadow minister and the Leader of the Opposition. We gave those people a voice through our round table and they made it clear they want the harshest penalties given and not for the government to simply come into this parliament and make some ridiculous argument that six years ago Labor didn't take action. Those people want action and, today, we as a parliament can deliver that with one voice and send the strongest possible message. We get lots of lectures about being tough on crime from those opposite. We just had a Victorian election about jailing gangs which failed spectacularly. I will tell you what people want. They want banks to be held to account. That is exactly what they want.

The second amendment I want to focus on is removing the $210 million penalty cap, because what the government is doing is rejecting that today. I say very clearly to the government that the bill from the government falls well short with a cap of $210 million. I just want to quickly read this into the record. Yesterday we found that the AMP have profited from almost $1 billion in fees charged for no service. This just shows that a cap of $200 million is mere small fry. They haven't spoken about that amendment at all. They haven't—through you, Mr Deputy Speaker—mentioned that one bit. For the minister, who perhaps needs a refresher, I can help him with some internet issues around this: I can tell you right now that that does not anywhere near meet community standards.

These are important amendments. These are critical amendments to make sure that victims get justice and see this parliament taking firm action, and we can do this tonight. We can finally draw a line in the sand to make sure that the victims are given justice.