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Demand the Senate committee hold public hearings on the APRA ‘bail-in’ bill

Demand the Senate committee hold public hearings on the APRA ‘bail-in’ bill

Demand the Senate committee hold public hearings on the APRA ‘bail-in’ bill - Continuing Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison’s efforts to minimise publicity for their APRA bail-in legislation, the Senate committee which is inquiring into the bill has decided not to hold public hearings.

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
Media Release Monday, 22 January 2018
Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.cecaust.com.au

Demand the Senate committee hold public hearings on the APRA ‘bail-in’ bill

Continuing Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison’s efforts to minimise publicity for their APRA bail-in legislation, the Senate committee which is inquiring into the bill has decided not to hold public hearings. This decision is unacceptable, especially as the committee was inundated with 800-odd submissions from the public, when ordinarily such an inquiry would receive around a dozen submissions—reflecting the level of concern about this bill in the community.

To ensure that the government is not able to sneak through legislation that could allow the bank regulator to confiscate savings to prop up failing banks, call the six senators on the Senate Economics Legislation Committee to demand they change their decision and hold public hearings.

Based on the sheer scale of the public’s response to this inquiry, the Senate committee should have realised that this bill requires a much closer examination than originally planned. Instead, they are going through the motions of an inquiry, to rubber-stamp the bill by the reporting date of 9 February. This continues the underhanded way this bill has been treated from the very beginning, when Treasurer Scott Morrison announced it in a Friday afternoon press release in August, to minimise publicity. Having the bill referred in November to the Senate committee was an important accomplishment, but now it appears the government is determined to stop the explosive issues raised in many of the hundreds of submissions from being aired and examined.

The issues which demand a public hearing include:

• The intention of this bill to empower APRA to bail in the hybrid securities of hundreds of thousands of self-funded retirees and self-managed superannuation funds. These are innocent investors who were lured into investing in these complex securities without understanding the risks—with APRA’s approval.

• The potential of the bill to empower APRA to bail in ordinary bank deposits. The government’s reassurance that it will not apply to deposits is not backed up by the wording of the bill, which states that conversion or write-off provisions apply to the category of investments that include hybrid securities, “or any other instrument”.

• Former APRA principal researcher Dr Wilson Sy’s revelation that the government’s deposit guarantee is no guarantee at all, and therefore will not protect deposits from being bailed in.

• The insights of multiple former APRA personnel that APRA protects rather than polices the banks, including through extreme secrecy restrictions that block proper examinations of banking practices and its own actions. These insider insights must give MPs pause before handing this failure of a regulator such sweeping new powers.

• The related charge levelled by former ANZ bank director John Dahlsen that “APRA is the monster that protects the banks”, and the complaint of Mr Dahlsen and small business advocates that APRA has incentivised the banks to starve small business of credit in order to inflate a speculative bubble in the housing market.

• APRA’s complicity in the reckless practices of the banks means that it will be the cause of the coming financial crisis, and therefore it should not be entrusted with such sweeping “crisis resolution” powers.

Call the Senators on the committee

The CEC is calling on the Australian public to demand the Senate Economics Legislation Committee reverse its decision, and hold public hearings. This is a decision of the six members of the committee, who will meet on 25 January.

Therefore, every concerned Australian, especially everybody who made a written submission, should call or email each member of the committee, to insist they hold a public hearing. Contact the senators today, before they meet on Thursday. Use the contact details below:

Senate Economics Legislation Committee Members

Chair: Senator Jane Hume, Liberal Party, VIC
Ph: (03) 9232 8820 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deputy Chair: Senator Chris Ketter, ALP , QLD
Ph: (07) 3881 3710 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Senator David Bushby, Liberal Party, TAS
Ph: (03) 6331 8501 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald, Liberal Party, QLD
Ph: (07) 4771 3066 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Senator Jenny McAllister, ALP , NSW
Ph: (02) 9719 8100 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens, TAS
Ph: (03) 6331 0033 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here for a free copy of the latest issue of the CEC’s weekly magazine the Australian Alert Service, which reports on the fight against bail-in and for Glass-Steagall.

Click here to join the CEC as a member.

Click here to refer others to receive regular email updates from the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.

This article was first published by http://www.cecaust.com.au/

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