QUEENSLAND Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan wants farmers and other rural stakeholders to only submit “credible evidence” to back up any complaints they may make to the banking Royal Commission or else it’ll end up in the “shredder”.
Senator O’Sullivan was the prime mover behind the federal government establishing the Royal Commission into banking and financial services late last year where he also wants agricultural lending issues examined through the inquiry’s terms of reference.
A report from a Senate inquiry into rural lending practices, which gathered evidence at public hearings and through submissions, was also handed down late last year and recommended its evidence and findings be directed to the Royal Commission.
The Royal Commission into Misconduct into the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry is set to hold its initial public hearing in Melbourne on Monday February 12.
Senator O’Sullivan said people involved in agriculture and farming and regional businesses throughout the country that had “credible evidence” which reflected upon the culture or conduct of any banks, superannuation funds, insurance funds and others like financial advisers, should submit that material to the Royal Commission.
“It needs to be concise and it needs to be clear and most of all it needs to have evidence to support the statements made; otherwise I promise you it’ll be in the remit of the Commissioner to put it into a shredder,” he said.
“It’s no good just making a statement; you have to have some evidence to support it and if you do, you have to put it into the Commission in a succinct way.”
Senator O’Sullivan said the government had stated the Commission would run for about a year, while an interim report is due out by the end of September this year.
But he’s said publicly, the inquiry should not be limited by time constraints.
“It’d be a brave government ours or any other government that would bring a successful Royal Commission to a premature end because of cost, timing or resource requirements,” he said.
The Commissioner overseeing the inquiry is former High Court of Australia Justice Kenneth Hayne.
An online form is available to assist people wishing to make submissions to the Royal Commission about misconduct in the financial services industry.
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