Who will pocket CommBank $700m fine?

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Yesterday, the Commonwealth Bank (CommBank) reached a settlement with financial intelligence agency Austrac over breaches of money laundering laws. The bank has agreed to pay $702.5 million and you won’t believe where that money will go.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), CommBank said it had admitted to:

  • late filing of 53,506 threshold transaction reports for cash deposits through intelligent deposit machines (IDMs)
  • inadequate adherence to risk assessment requirements for IDMs on 14 occasions
  • transaction monitoring did not operate as intended for a number of accounts between October 2012 and October 2015
  • 149 suspicious matter reports were filed late or were not filed as required
  • ongoing customer due diligence requirements of 80 customers were breached.

While the Federal Court is still to approve the size of the fine, $2.5 million of it has been pegged for Austrac’s legal fees, and the balance – $700 million – is likely to go to Finance Minister Kelly O’Dwyer’s department.

Under the legal system, if the Federal Court imposes a fine, it must make an order requiring the payment to be paid to a registrar. The registrar then pays the money into a government consolidated revenue fund.

It is possible that the court will order that some of the money be paid to a cause or a different department to help fund, for instance, the war against criminal money laundering.

But a source at ASIC told YourLifeChoices that it would not be unusual for the entire sum to go to consolidated revenue.

“Last November, the Federal Court’s fines on National Australia Bank and ANZ stipulated that each pay an additional $20 million to benefit the community,” the source said.

In March last year, Tabcorp was fined $45 million for breaches of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing laws. At the time, it was reported that the fine was believed to be the biggest in corporate history.

The CommBank settlement is more than 15 times greater than that amount. It relates to the bank failing to monitor large transactions, potentially up to $200,000 on nearly 780,000 accounts. Some of these were linked to drug manufacturing and importation of illicit substances.

Just as the revelations were making headlines in August last year, CommBank posted a full-year net profit of $9.9 billion.

On the stock exchange, news of the fine was welcomed, with the bank’s shares gaining around $1.03, or 1.5 per cent in value. That is the equivalent of a $1.76 billion growth spurt to its capitalisation in just one day, and rather dwarfs the fine. The upwards movement tended to suggest that the market may have estimated the fine would be much higher, even in the 10s of billions, if the maximum penalty had been handed down.

However, with the stock trading at around only $69, it is the lowest it has been in five years. And it is well down on its peak of above $90 three years ago.

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Written by Olga Galacho

90 Comments

Total Comments: 90
  1. 0
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    So is the $700 million going to Women’s issues now? Studies on women being hard done by? More money for breast cancer research?
    The mind boggles but likely it will be the next waste of valuable public funds. I can hardly wait.

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      Mick – Liberal Party Headquarters here – aka Big Al! What’s this misogynistic clap trap you are espousing? Fair warning – Juliar will be coming for ya! (By the way – whatever happened to Man bag Tim? When the gravy train stopped, did he really get off?).

    • 0
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      I will tell you somewhere the money wont be going, Mick, is into the super balances of every Australian worker. Bash the banks all you like, but for every superannuant, and future superannuant, this represents a real hit. Me thinks some of the Commonwealth Bank execs and Board members ought to shoulder a fair slug of this financial impost – they were the ones who were negligent – why should the real owners of the business pay the penalty?

    • 0
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      Bank shareholders had financial gains from this scandal as well as those in positions of power in the bank.
      It’s a pity that such a large fine has to end up in consolidated revenue where it could end up as free giveaways overseas as well as extra nibbles for politicians instead of doing some real good for those in need.

    • 0
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      Your normal Liberal Party sponsored crap Al.
      The only thing we may agree on is that CBA senior staff should be paying for the indiscretions/corruption within the bank. They knew. It was their policy. Likely from CEO Narev. Go get ’em Turnbull rather than protect them.

    • 0
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      Money being wasted on socialist agendas to appease the left
      Consider it CBA ‘s contribution to the welfare state

    • 0
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      Money being sent to rich people is the agenda of coalition governments. This government is in overdrive. Expect higher taxes everyone.

    • 0
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      Where does it say the money will go to women’s issues? I read war against criminal money laundering, or consolidated revenue. Your posts usually make sense Mick, but off the mark here

    • 0
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      Seems to me like usual process is being followed here, revenue raised by fines being remitted to the appropriate prosecuting authority. For instance when your local council takes you to court (be it for parking or building regulations infringements, etc) the local council gets the money. I understand RSPCA (who are authorised to prosecute animal cruelty matters) get the fines imposed for matters they prosecute. In some states fines raised from driving offences go toward road safety initiatives (ie safety advertising or accident ‘black spot’ remediation etc). Why all the ‘shock horror’? If Ms O’Dwyer’s department prosecuted than they are the most likely recipients of the additional revenue (but ScMo is likely to deduct it from their budget allocation).

    • 0
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      Hi Sundays – I understood that the money should be going to Kelly O’Dwyer’s portfolio. Is that women’s issues? If so (?) then that’s what will happen to the money. If not then I don’t know.
      Maybe you might want to do some research on this and let me know if I have this wrong. Cheers.

    • 0
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      Mick, she is the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, and yes Minister for women, but I doubt she takes it seriously. Michaelia Cash certainly didn’t when she held the Title for two years up to December 2017.

    • 0
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      There are some seriously sad comments on here. This is the first time I have heard that breast cancer research was a waste of public funds. Such a misogynistic point of view.

    • 0
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      I agree cancer research will never find a cure for cancer simply because they don’t want to find a cure. There is simply too much money to be made by not finding a cure.

    • 0
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      Angelique – I didn’t say that and you are playing the one sided feminist card with your comment.
      Prostate cancer, which kills as many men as breast cancer does women, is worth ZERO dollars in research terms. All one ever hears about is breast cancer.
      I am not opposed to research dollars but what I am opposed to is research dollars going into one specific ailment with routine calls of ‘not enough’.
      Hope you can see where I am coming from. This does not mean I am misogynistic.

    • 0
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      Who is the Minister for Men’s Issues? Oh! That’s right. There is none! Men don’t matter…

    • 0
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      @Angelique. As many men die of prostate cancer as women do of breast cancer. Guess where the lion’s share of research funding goes. Yes, that’s right – breast cancer.

    • 0
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      Thanks for the support Knows-a-lot. I didn’t want to start a gender war but I sort of get pee’d off with the thoughtless feminist comments around claiming victim status. My post was simply setting the record straight and I’d be happy get a kudos from Angelique if my facts stand up.
      Yeah men get a pretty tough time. Much of the current media attack is centred around this and whilst some have been called to account others are being swept up in this tidal wave of women can do no wrong emotion………run by the women journalists who head the news mastheads.

    • 0
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      The money should not be going to breast cancer. for the past 7-10 years since Glen McGrath started with the pink thing just about every charity dollar has been snaffled by breast cancer; enough is enough, its not the only disease in town.

    • 0
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      WRONG Labor Troll Mick. NOT 0, but read on you might learn something.
      A SPECTACULAR gender gap has resulted in men’s health problems being allocated a QUARTER of the funding women’s health research gets, ranked just ahead of parasitic infections. Breast cancer received $60 million more than prostate cancer and ovarian cancer $64 million more than testicular cancer.
      But don’t let FACTS get in the way of your usual rants.

  2. 0
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    It should be put into a fund to give back money to people the bank has wronged! The banks should be paying compensation especially where the amount has caused hardship.

    • 0
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      Who did the banks wrong in this instance ?
      It’s giving the government $700 m which it otherwise would not have got

    • 0
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      The normal crap from a government sponsored troll.
      The question is who did they steal money from and did they engage in funding terrorism. They did!

    • 0
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      You mean repay it to those engaged in criminal activity such as those who had attempted to send it to overseas terror groups, drug lords, gambling Tzars and other assorted felons suspected of washing their dirty money?

      Is that what’s meant by ‘filthy lucre’?

    • 0
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      Fining the big guys just hurts the little guy as they will pass on all costs.

      One would have hoped they would have compensated those people who lost so much from the bad advice the bank gave its investors.

      Whatever happened to jail sentences for corrupt behaviour. The $700m doesn’t even come from anyone’s private assets. How is this paying for a crime? The client loses and loses again.

    • 0
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      Hot off the Press: ANZ, Citi and Deutsche high ranking officials apparently being come after with criminal charges. Not for the company. INDIVIDUALS.
      I can’t see the big end of town allowing its own to be jailed so it will be interesting if this is snuffed out. A good start however.

  3. 0
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    A lot of this money should go to increasing the pitiful small maximum limit the Financial Services Ombudsman can pay out to people ripped off by banks.

  4. 0
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    Hey I have shares in CBA so no nasty comments please.

    • 0
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      Well you just got fleeced $700m for its employees doing the wrong thing!

    • 0
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      Mmmm… I used to have CBA shares. Sold them at the first whiff of all this rubbish. Might buy them back at a $10 discount. My position is simple. Forget fines. The real perpetrators don’t suffer any discomfort, and the shareholders foot the bill through both a reduced share value and a lower dividend. Send some of these turkeys to jail and all of a sudden the word ‘compliance’ will take on a whole new meaning. But that, of course, would limit the government’s profit opportunity. And don’t think that this type of behaviour is limited to banks. A lot of companies as well as unions are doing some dodgy stuff. And do I dare suggest… politicians as well? It appears to me that the old saying “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” has a lot of mileage left in it.

    • 0
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      Nerk
      Sue them for mismanaging your money LOL

  5. 0
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    It could go towards the cost of the Royal Commission and save taxpayers from footing the bill for the banks’ bad behaviour.

    • 0
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      That’s where voters were told it was going. Now it is going on propaganda on women’s issues. Wasted. The fingerprints of this government.

  6. 0
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    Well done CBA, their negligence has helped countless drug dealers , terrorists and probably other criminals flourish in the operations they pursue to the detriment of our society and they get slapped with a fine that is really not big in their operation. What about charging these directors with negligence and put them in jail or do they just resign their CBA directorships and move on to the next, cause their mates in powerful positions will look after them. The AMP chair person who resigned still is a director of other companies Cocacola being one of them. Its an utter disgrace what these white collar rogues can get away with

    • 0
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      The economy would collapse if all this corruption and rorting was stopped somehow!!! (Not saying I approve. I am as disgusted as you are. It’s just a fact that our economy relies on this criminal behaviour to operate. There would be economic and social chaos if someone could find a way to end it.)

    • 0
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      That is a ridiculous statement OGR – go and have a lie down, and perhaps go back to your knitting – when you feel better, you can comment again!

    • 0
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      You can’t even see the humour in OGR’s comment can you Al. The comment is in line with the “we’ll be ruined” and “jobs will be lost” from business whenever the lowest paid get even a zac increase in pay. Of course you are on that side of politics.

    • 0
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      Well Mick, most things OGR comes out with are a joke – so if I need a dose of humour I can always rely on OGR’s (inane) contributions – has nothing to do with my political philosophies!

    • 0
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      OGR they will just find another way to launder their dirty money. What they did through the CBA is only a small fraction of what goes through Casinos all over the world.

    • 0
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      OGR cryptocurrencies are the new washing ground for dirty money too.

    • 0
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      Correct OGR. So vote for Labor and get a federal ICAC. Can’t do that? So you support the crooks????

    • 0
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      Right, gibbo. We seem to have no information about the list of people responsible for incurring this $700 Million in fines, and action proposed against them???
      Incidentally, this particular issue took place in the Retail Banking area (ATMs), and guess what happened to the Head of the Retail Banking Business??? He just became the CEO!!!

    • 0
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      The fine has been negotiated between Commonwealth Bank and courts. There are charges being laid with other banks but it is strange that nobody in the Commonweath Bank is facing any charges.

  7. 0
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    The money will be going back to the CBA and Liberal party

    • 0
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      You have a wonderful imagination

    • 0
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      It will jackie. They have already found a way to waste it by giving it to Kelly O’Dwyer’s portfolio. This will result in mass ‘the poor women’ advertising to promote the fairer sex.

    • 0
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      Tell me Mick, if the fine was remitted to Sen Cormanns portfolio would you be coming up with it going to ‘mens’ issues. I think not! If you can, and this applies to others as well, please get your misogynistic tendencies under control. Mick, you normally make sensible comments, and even if I do not agree with them, I respect your contributions. However misogyny or misandry have no place in YLC.

    • 0
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      No Eddy, I’d be looking at what Corman’s portfolio was using the funds for. From what I have heard from this parrot unlikely it would be anything other than promoting the Liberal Party and rubbishing Labor with more lies.
      What do you think Corman would do with $700 million to burn? And do you not think the national ‘debt’ you talk about incessantly could be a recipient of this money? You know this government has more than doubled our debt with nothing to show other than Royal Commissions don’t you.

    • 0
      0

      Debt increased due to the commitments of labor that tied this governments hands
      Budget will be back in surplus by 2020
      Debts will be reduced and hopefully back to zero in the next 10 years
      Takes time to fix labors screw ups

    • 0
      0

      Just think, Jackie and Mick, when my mate Malcolm gets re-elected next year and gets his tax cuts for big business through the Senate (thanks, Pauline), the massive tax savings for the Commonwealth bank, in any one year, will be ….$700 million! Absolute genius by Scott, Mathias and of course big Mal! The net effect – everyone’s super will go up…more people off the pension…huge savings off the welfare bill…deficit reduced to b..ger all…and Mal gets elected again (if he chooses) in 2022! Magnificent game plan – if the Blues employ the same strategy tomorrow night against the Cane Toads, they will be a shoo-in!

    • 0
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      Big Al – also franking credits will drop from 30% to eventually 25%, so less pain labor can induce on pensioners if god forbid they ever get back in power.

    • 0
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      Big Al – you been on the drugs during your shift? Tax cuts means that those multinationals actually not exporting their profits to tax haven and the big miners will take a whole heap of money out of the country. You support the erosion of the tax base.

      We both know what is going to happen. Average citizens will be hit for the difference. That is the plan and your BS about superannuation savings going up is the drugs cutting in. They won’t….the super that is.

    • 0
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      The Rightard peanut gallery is out in force today. Labor’s errors pale into insignificance compared with the screw-ups of the Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition.

    • 0
      0

      Owned by the big end of town. Enacting legislation for the big end of town. Thinking of new innovative ways to take money from workers and retirees…and accuse Labor of doing this.
      I think Barnaby got it right: “scum”

    • 0
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      Actually, Malcolm, Morrison, Bishop, etc are already spending it on various pet projects and investments being announced for getting Liberal party votes for next year! Haven’t we all seen a recent jump in announcements?

    • 0
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      ……….and the pink batts nonsense highlighted in the media to smear the opposition. Election time is close.

    • 0
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      Mick, just think how lovely it will be for the LNP if they get their company tax cuts through and Labor wins the election. I can hear it now. “Labor can’t manage the economy. Look how revenues have fallen and the debt has risen since they took over! Totally incompetent. An disaster! Only LNP can manage the economy properly.”” Pssssst…. ”Shhh guys! Don’t mention the unaffordable tax cuts we legislated are the cause of the problem. He He He He! We got ’em again!!”

  8. 0
    0

    It’s normal for most revenue received to go to Consolidated Revenue.
    Don’t believe all the speculation and poor reporting
    And especially do not believe the labor trolls like Mick

  9. 0
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    If anyone thinks that this is not enough then just think that every time you buy something you have a good chance that you paying for this fine. Customers will pay for it and where do they get the money to pay for it? From their customers.

    Just laughed when the capitalisation of the bank went up over double this fine in just one trading day.

  10. 0
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    Why do people put money before morals . The vulturs sitting waiting for bank shares to drop and they call themselves Australians.If this country keeps up the greed we have seen since the Libs got into power god help our kids.

    • 0
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      I agree floss. Bank shares should not drop, better if the price just keeps going up and up
      Good management aided by a strong healthy economy helps

      The last time we had a budget surplus was when Costello was Treasurer. Next one will also be under LNP.

      We are on our way to reversing and eliminating labor’s horrendous debt spiral once and for all.

    • 0
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      Floss that is the only time I would be bank shares when they fall enough so that they are a good price to buy. In fact I only buy shares at a discount any time.

    • 0
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      So a PE of around 9 is not good? Doubt whether you have the IQ to understand the share market.

    • 0
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      Raphael – atypical Lieberal hack. Under the LNP, who have no conception of society, Australia will be a mess … but that’s OK: the budget’s in the black. Better to be in the red but see something substantial for it. Thank God for Labor.

    • 0
      0

      Better to be in the red ?????

      Thanks for the joke of the day. You lefties are totally clueless

      So better to run this nation to bankruptcy ala Greece, Venezuela, and all those other countries which leftist governments ruined

    • 0
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      Your employer IS RUNNING THE NATION INTO BANKRUPTCY.

      Debt more than doubled. Not one thing to show for it and no GFC.
      Now the same government intends to hand the wealthy $80 billion for nix when we are in debt? Irresponsible is one word. Traitors is the right word.

    • 0
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      Knows-a-lot, try visiting Victoria where a Labor government spent $1.1billion to NOT build a road! Also the same government, when previously in power, spent more than $3 billion to build a desal plant that has not produced 1 litre of water for the Victorian tax payer – ohh, and the initial estimate to build it was $1.6 billion…and then the CFMEU and Electrical Trades Union got involved. This is why people like me are dead scared of Labor ever having power at either state or federal level – they are like kids in a lolly shop, greedily stuffing their faces on all the goodies they can get their grubby little hands on. The problem is, it is we, the public, that ends up with the stomach ache. How many schools and hospitals could be built with a billion dollars? That is what has been forfeited in Victoria -and you have the stupidity to talk about having something substantial! Wake up!

    • 0
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      How about you stop the BS about both Labor and the CFMEU. If you have hard evidence send it to the Liberal Party or the police.
      Personally I completely agree about spending money on a desalination plant but the question I have to ask you is: what would have happened if the drought had lasted even 1 year more? Yeah, consumers who had no water would have been after the government. This is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Any reasonable person would understand that.
      The last bit of your spiel fits perfectly with the current federal government wasting OUR money on Royal Commissions which have one and only one purpose: to make sure the opposition is not elected. That is perverse and morally wrong as well as financially irresponsible.

      If you want roads then tell your party to not give away $80 BILLION, that = $80,000 million, away to the rich, much of which will head directly to America and into the bank accounts of the mega rich.

      Your posts are totally irrational and your hatred of Labor is unbalanced because it is over the top and does not look at the betrayal of your own party. That my friend should be a starting point for you. As I keep saying I SUPPORT NEITHER OF THE MAJOR PARTIES despite sticking up for Labor when you and the government funded trolls come after it is such a devious and unfair manner with lies for facts.

    • 0
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      Great comments Big Al

      Labor cant even run a State, let’s not give them the opportunity to get back in and ruin our finances . They did it once after being handed a gold plated Balance Sheet with ZERO debts

      NEVER AGAIN !!!

    • 0
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      ANd a good comment from you to Knows-a-lot. No good letting the Liberal Party trolls play tag team. The last thing we need is this government getting back in and dropping the company tax rate the rich use to 15%. That is what the Business Council are now plugging for. We’ll be ruined!

    • 0
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      Just like last time, the LNP are determined to legislate to give huge tax cuts to the well off and then hand the reins to Labor and blame them for the debt that results from the LNP’s obscene generosity. When things are looking bad, let Labor take the lead. But make damned sure they inherit obligations no government can meet because when you take it back, you need to be able to point the finger and lie about their claimed incompetence.

      Anyone who reads knows the truth. Problem is not too many people read. Most just swallow the blue-ties lies, because gee they lie well!

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