DON’T BANK ON IT
The banking royal commission’s historic final report has been met with mixed responses across the political and media landscape. All 76 recommendations are set to be implemented, even as some industry and media figures profess disappointment that Justice Kenneth Hayne did not call for more radical changes.
The ABC reports that Hayne gave recommendations such as an overhaul of commissions from mortgage broking, financial planning and insurance sales; strengthening oversight for regulators ASIC and APRA; a new victims’ compensation fund; tighter regulations around financial planning; and a national farm-debt-mediation scheme, amongst others. Hayne has also referred 18 entities including AMP, Suncorp and all major banks except Westpac to the regulators over potential civil and criminal charges, specifically over the “fee for no service scandal”. The Australian ($) reports that the list could take ASIC and APRA a decade to resolve.
However, The Guardian lists a number of criticisms from peak consumer bodies and, with The Sydney Morning Herald reporting general acquiescence from the major banks, The New Daily notes that the big four banks have avoided any changes to vertical integration and would even benefit from changes to mortgage brokers’ commissions.
RELIEF IN SIGHT
Tasmania’s month-long fire crisis may soon be over, with Thursday’s predicted rain set to hopefully help quash the 19 remaining bushfires across the state.
However The Mercury ($) notes that an emergency report was issued last night for the town of Brandum and advice warnings remain in place across dozens of sites. The news comes as firefighters launch the new group “Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action”, criticising Scott Morrison for visiting fire-ravaged Huonville without acknowledging global warming.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
[After being asked whether the Coalition was wrong to oppose the banking royal commission as long as it did]:
Like I said, we can debate for hours Labor’s failures when they were in office.
The Treasurer oddly fails to answer the same question three times in one day.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The big global accounting firms — the architects of multinational tax evasion and systemic conflicts of interest in financial transparency — cemented their place as Australia’s major political donors in 2017-18, an analysis of the Australian Electoral Commission’s political donations data shows.”
“Scott Morrison’s ongoing attempts to take some of the sting out of the asylum seeker debate continue. While quibbling over the details, the Prime Minister has conceded a key demand in Kerryn Phelps’ Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill, which would allow an independent panel of doctors to review Home Affairs’ decisions over asylum seeker medivacs.”
“The current political struggle in Venezuela has just entered a crucial phase, with the pressure on the embattled Maduro government becoming intense. Key European nations gave Maduro until this weekend to call new elections, or they would recognise challenger Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
The regulators failed bank customers but they are now being trusted to fix this mess — Adele Ferguson (The Sydney Morning Herald): “The royal commission spent a year listening to how many ways government regulators failed in their duty to regulate the financial services industry. Customers were ripped off but the regulators had little or no appetite to use the tools at their disposal, preferring instead to do cosy deals with those they were meant to police.”
Let’s not keep muzzling our watchdogs ($) — Peter Greste (The Australian): “One of the central tenets of a successful liberal democracy is press freedom. As voters, we employ our elected officials to run the government on our behalf and, as with all bosses, we have a right to know what they get up to. In any democratic system worth the title, that happens through good, sceptical, independent and at times aggressive journalism.”
New resources can support schools and teachers help kids struggling with mental health ($) — Julia Gillard (The Daily Telegraph): “That is why Beyond Blue developed Be You — a new national initiative that makes it easier for busy school and early learning service staff to look after their own wellbeing and create mentally healthy communities. It’s free to every school and early learning service in Australia thanks to Commonwealth government funding.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen will hold a press conference to discuss the final banking royal commission report.
eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant will launch Safer Internet Day 2019 with school students, major supporters and key stakeholders.
The Melbourne Museum will open the 2009 Victorian bushfires exhibition “From the Heart”, to run until May 12.
The Migration Council of Australia and Tent Partnership for Refugees will launch new report “The Australian Employers’ Guide to Hiring Refugees” at the Immigration Museum.
The NSW Community Sector Alliance will launch the “Building Great Communities” campaign calling for more services to address inequality.
Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash will open the Australian Government Small Business Fair.
The ABS will release retail trade figures for December.