ABOUT a dozen WA farmers will be heading to Canberra this week to share their stories of financial hardship due to bank lending practices, in the hope of extending and expanding the Banking Royal Commission.
A special ‘Extend the Banking Royal Commission Event’ will be held on Wednesday, August 15, by Senator Frazer Anning, who recently left Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party to join Bob Katter’s Australia Party, and who is also set to give his maiden speech in parliament that night.
Rural Action Movement president Greg Kenney, Salmon Gums, said the WA farmers hoped to achieve four things while in Canberra, including expressing their disappointment in the commission and its results so far, expanding the terms of reference to include receiver managers, allowing the Royal Commissioner to determine criminal activity by the banks and extending the length of the inquiry to allow for more submissions and testimonials.
Mr Kenney said so far only a handful of farmers had presented to the commission and the findings have been unsatisfactory.
“We are not happy with the Royal Commission,” Mr Kenney said.
“Nothing has been mentioned in the media about the alleged money laundering that’s been exposed.”
Mr Kenney said the Royal Commissioner needed stronger powers to determine criminality because “it makes the Royal Commission a little bit toothless” otherwise.
He was concerned that the banks were “way out of control” and needed to be brought to account for all the hardships farmers had experienced because of their lending practices.
About 20 farmers will be expected to share testimonials at the event, which will be held in the main committee room at Parliament House.
The room seats about 300 but with the amount of interest from the rural community it is expected to be full to overflowing.
“I reckon Senator Anning will need every bit of that,” Mr Kenney said.