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ECONOMICS REFERENCES COMMITTEE
15/12/2010
Competition within the Australian banking sector
ECONOMICS REFERENCES COMMITTEE
Senate committee
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Competition within the Australian banking sector
Final

CHAIR (Senator Bushby )—Welcome. I declare open the third hearing of the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into competition within the Australian banking sector. On 28 October 2010 the Senate referred this inquiry to the committee for report by March 2011. To date the committee has received over 100 submissions, which are available on its website. Further public hearings are planned next month in Brisbane and Melbourne. These are public proceedings although the committee may determine or agree to a request to have evidence heard in camera.

I ask photographers and cameramen to follow the instructions of the committee secretariat and ensure that senators’ and witnesses’ laptops and personal papers are not filmed. I remind all witnesses that, in giving evidence to the committee, they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee and such action may be treated by the Senate as contempt. It is also contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee.

If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may of course also be made at any other time.

[8.03 am]