A banking inquiry is all but certain with a Turnbull Government MP threatening to defy the prime minister and vote with Labor to set up an investigation into Australia’s financial giants.
Malcolm Turnbull and his cabinet are opposed to setting up any inquiry into the big banks, following revelations about dubious financial planning advice and the breaking of anti-money laundering laws.
However, Nationals MP Llew O’Brien, a former police officer, has confirmed he was likely to cross the floor of the House of Representatives to back a banking inquiry.
Queensland Nationals MP Llew O’Brien is threatening to support an inquiry into the big banks
Queensland Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan has drafted a private member’s bill on banks
‘I am respecting the party process and will be speaking to my colleagues in the National Party. But obviously consideration has been given to my input to this bill,’ the Member for Wide Bay told The Australian on Monday. ‘And I am looking favourably on it.’
With the Turnbull Government no longer having a majority in the lower house of federal parliament, a banking inquiry could be set up if Mr O’Brien crossed the floor and voted with Labor and the Greens.
Fellow Nationals MP George Christensen, who is also a Queenslander, has previously threatened to cross the floor and back a banking inquiry.
Their Nationals Senate colleague Barry O’Sullivan, another former police officer, declared last week he was drafting a private member’s bill for an inquiry into Australia’s financial services sector
Renegade Nationals MP George Christensen has previously threatened to cross the floor
The big banks, including Commonwealth, could be examined if parliament backs an inquiry
He was last week accused of pushing ‘rank socialism’ by former Liberal prime minister John Howard.
Mr O’Brien wants an amendment to Mr O’Brien’s bill to that would also examine how poor insurance, superannuation and financial services had affected the mental health of consumers, The Australian reported.
Labor has been campaigning for a royal commission into banking.
Mr Turnbull’s backing of a banking inquiry could be seen as the government politically capitulating to Labor.