A Shorten Labor Government will commit $25 million to establish a Corporate Crime Taskforce, to equip the Commonwealth Public Prosecutor to respond to recommendations for criminal prosecution which stem from the Financial Services Royal Commission.
The degree of misconduct and potential criminal activity uncovered by the Royal Commission so far has been staggering. Should recommendations for prosecution be made following its completion, it is absolutely vital they are properly pursued.
The Commonwealth Public Prosecutor has suffered significant budget cuts under this Liberal Government, resulting in a 23 per cent reduction in staff levels over the six years to 2016-17. To top that off, this week’s budget reveals that funding for their critical work prosecuting crimes is forecast to fall by a staggering $11 million on current levels over forward estimates.
With that level of resourcing, the Commonwealth Public Prosecutor is no match for the deep pockets of the banks, who have already spent millions in legal fees to defend themselves in front of the Royal Commission.
We need to make sure that corporate criminals are brought to justice. Anything less than this would make a joke of the Royal Commission process.
While the Corporate Crime Taskforce will focus on handling any recommendations for prosecution made by the Financial Services Royal Commission, it will also be available for more general corporate crime prosecutions if necessary.
If big corporates or their employees break the law, they need to know that they will be prosecuted by the best of the best.
The top end of town has gotten away with too much for too long. It is time for that to change, and Labor’s Corporate Crime Taskforce cannot come soon enough.
Labor led the calls for a Royal Commission into the banking sector to clean up the rorts, rip-offs and bad behaviour.
Labor has its priorities right – instead of giving $80 billion to big business, we are making sure misconduct at the top end of town is never excused.
THURSDAY, 10 MAY 2018