In the wake of the royal commission, Labor has made an election promise to create a new special prosecutor that has already been labelled ‘bank cop’.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has expressed that if Labor wins the 2019 election they would establish a special prosecutor position to head a corporate crime taskforce in response to the Hayne royal commission.
Mr Shorten in his first release post-Hayne’s final report said that part of Labor’s response would be to fund this position.
“As well as giving in-principle support to the recommendations of the royal commission, a Shorten Labor government will fund a dedicated special prosecutor to bring corporate criminals to justice,” he said.
It has since been revealed that Mr Shorten would allocate $25 million in funding to ensure that the prosecutor had the resources to pursue charges.
In what is clearly becoming an election issues for the Labor party, Mr Shorten called on the government to reconvene parliament to allow them to push through royal commission legislation.
“We are due to sit for two weeks but I am putting a challenge today to Mr Morrison. You are only sitting for two weeks because you know the whole show is falling apart.
“For the election, you’ve said it’s not for another three months. Let’s table another couple – let’s schedule another couple of weeks of Parliament. The job is there to be done,” he said.
Mr Shorten said that Labor was ready to get on with the job of implementing the recommendations with a clear focus on the customers affected by the banks.
“If this government can’t reconvene parliament for March, if they can’t say sorry, if they can't stop calling for senior directors to consider their position, they haven’t learned a lesson and I ask the Australian people of the election, who do you trust to keep the banks honest? The Liberals who wanted to cover it up or Labor who wanted to see the truth?”
Mr Shorten said currently the bankers that had impacted the lives of Australians were able to get away with it.
“If you steal from a bank you go to jail, but if the bank steals from you there’s no guarantee they’ll even get to court,” said Mr Shorten.
The money for the special prosecution will be committed over two years and Mr Shorten said it would ensure that bankers are not left off the hook.
“That’s why Labor will establish a dedicated position to target banking crooks and make sure they have their day in court,” Mr Shorten said.
The Coalition government has so far committed an additional $42 million over eight years, with parts of that to be used on prosecutions.