Making The Aussie Banksters Pay: A Victory To The Little People
Ever since the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was privatised in the 1990s, Australians have lived increasingly under a bankers’ dictatorship. The Banking Royal Commission in 2019 revealed shocking abuses by the banking industry. This included charging customers for as much as a billion dollars for services that were never delivered. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Gigantic Victory: Final Report of the Senate Inquiry into Australia Post
The final report of the Senate Inquiry into Australia Post and the “Cartier Watches Affair” is a gigantic victory for the people of Australia. The recommendations in the report closely echo what the Citizens Party demanded publicly in the months prior to the Senate investigation.
The Senate report recommends that:
- Australia Post and Scott Morrison should apologise to Christine Holgate;
- The chairman of Australia Post should resign;
- The Australia Post Board should be restructured to be more representative, and less stacked with party hacks;
Each of these recommendations are things the Citizens Party called for, before the Senate Inquiry began. But the most important recommendation of all is Recommendation 14. This recommendation calls for:
requiring authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) to allow Australia Post to process basic banking transactions for their customers as a condition of their license; and that fees be levied on ADIs that are sufficient to cover the cost to post offices of providing this service.
This language implicitly endorses the 2018 Bank@Post deal overseen by Christine Holgate and effectively calls for it to be made permanent. As part of that agreement, three of the Big Four banks, and 70 other smaller financial institutions agreed to reimburse Australia Post for providing services to the banks’ customers.
That 2018 deal brought in $220 million in revenue for Australia Post, which Christine Holgate used to save the Licensed Post Offices (LPOs). Prior to the 2018 agreement, the LPOs had been going bankrupt, because as the banks closed down hundreds of their branches across the country, the LPOs incurred costs providing banking services to the customers abandoned by the banks, but they were not being reimbursed for doing so. Once you say it should be required by all deposit-taking institutions to allow Australia Post to process transactions for them, and that they should reimburse Australia Post for doing so, it is easy to see it is a small step to actually establishing Australia Post as a bank.
Why a Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Would Change Life for every Australian
Ever since the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was privatised in the 1990s, Australians have lived increasingly under a bankers’ dictatorship.
The Banking Royal Commission in 2019 revealed shocking abuses by the banking industry. This included charging customers for as much as a billion dollars for services that were never delivered. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
How many bankers went to jail? None.
The Big Four banking monopoly uses its financial power to control many politicians. This political influence, in turn, is used to de-fang the regulatory agencies and make them into lap dogs.
If there were to be a public option in banking, like a Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank (CPSB), the Big Four banks would have to compete. The CPSB would be chartered as an institution to be a public service. Its primary mission would not be to pursue maximum short-term profits, but rather long term public benefits.
This one fact would change the entire dynamic.
If you had a choice between going to a loan-sharking pirate to do your banking, and a public bank answerable to the people which charges minimal fees and has branch offices in every post office in the country, which would you choose?
The Big Four know this all too well. This is why when Christine Holgate was reported to be considering making Australia Post into a bank, one journalist wrote that the big banks would “fight it tooth and nail”.
The Citizens Party and many others have suggested that this and her opposition to the privatisation of Australia Post, is why she was targeted for removal.
The most stunning political reversal in Australian history?
Given the vast power of the Big Four, how is it possible that there was a Senate investigation into the Australia Post/Christine Holgate affair in the first place? That in itself was a political miracle. And a testament to the power of ordinary citizens who got involved and began bombarding their elected officials with telephone calls and emails demanding action on this question.
Sen. Pauline Hanson deserves the thanks of all Australians for instigating the Senate inquiry.
But once the Senate inquiry began, what guarantee was there that the report would be anything other than a whitewash?
Again, it is a tribute to the power of political activism which created a superheated environment in Canberra that led to the stunning victory represented by the final report of the Senate inquiry.
An education campaign to unite all Australians around the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at its flood, leads on to fortune”Shakespeare
The tide is in our favor.
The Citizens Party has mapped out a strategy to make the CPSB a reality.
We have drafted a resolution in support of the CPSB which can be adopted by local councils, chambers of commerce, union branches, political party branches, and indeed any community organisation.
Activists are taking this resolution and motivating its adoption in all these venues. More activists are needed.
In addition, the Citizens Party will be mounting a campaign of online advertising, spearheaded by a series of videos we will create. These videos will outline the benefits of the CPSB and assist in spreading the word.
One of the most important benefits of the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank is that people’s deposits and savings can be invested into large infrastructure projects that benefit the nation.
We will be producing a series of videos about such projects, including:
- A nationwide network of high-speed railways
- A series of large-scale water projects like the Snowy Mountain Scheme which will transform our “most arid continent in the world”. It will revolutionise our agricultural output. We can make the deserts bloom!
To boost this campaign, we need to:
- Produce the videos
- Pay to promote the videos on YouTube and other social media
- Print leaflets, pamphlets and posters
- Make thousands of phone calls
- Travel around the country speaking to elected representatives
That’s why we need your support. Please contribute as generously as you can. The end of the tax year on 30 June is an especially good time to contribute. Political contributions up to $1,500 are tax deductible. Contributions of any and all sizes are greatly valued and appreciated.