House debates

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Questions without Notice

Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

2:53 pm

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to his earlier answers. Prime Minister, if actions speak louder than words, why did you vote against a banking royal commission 26 separate times?

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

Let's remember, when Labor was last in office, there were financial scandals with Trio, Opes Prime and Storm Financial. Let's remember what the Leader of the Opposition said at the time when he was the financial services minister. He talked about the 'excellent regulatory system' and 'prudent management'. He talked about the 'sound regulatory system' we had in place. He didn't call a royal commission when Labor was last in government. He sat tight when financial scandals occurred on his watch.

In contrast, we have taken action, including this week by introducing legislation into the parliament to double the criminal penalties for white-collar crime, to increase by up to 10-fold the civil penalties for white-collar crime. There is the accountability regime that we put inside banks; the new deputy chair of ASIC, the special prosecutor Daniel Crennan QC, who will be a cop on the beat; the extra resourcing that we have provided to our regulators; the fact that we are taking action across the board and that we await the final report from the Hayne royal commission in February next year. Unlike the Labor Party, we don't think we know better than the royal commissioner. The Leader of the Opposition and his shadow ministers are going around the country pretending that they know better than the royal commissioner. The royal commissioner has made plain and clear in his interim report that banks have put profits before people. We are taking action today. We'll continue to take the necessary action to put the consumers of Australia first.