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ANZ closes another branch vital to rural customers

People in Hughenden will be forced to drive 250km to access full ANZ banking services, with the big bank announcing it will close its Hughenden branch.

 Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said it is just another example of big corporations focusing on profits rather than customers, services and communities.

 “I think that big corporates like ANZ have a social responsibility to provide services to towns like Hughenden, even if that particular branch doesn’t generate a lot of money,” Robbie said.

 “We are talking about a company that reported a first half year cash profit of $3.4 billion just a couple of months ago. They cannot argue that keeping the Hughenden branch open will cripple their business. But losing services like this in regional Queensland cripples communities.”

ANZ closes another branch at Hughenden denying services to country people, says Robbie Katter

 In a statement about the branch closure, ANZ told its customers they could travel to Charters Towers for their banking needs.“What a joke,” Robbie said. “The city people making these decisions complain if they have to spend an extra 10 minutes in peak hour traffic. Now they want people to drive 250km to go to the bank. ANZ obviously doesn’t care about its customers outside of the city.”

 “It’s not just services that the community is losing, this is two jobs that will be lost. Every job counts. Unemployment is already sky high in rural and regional Queensland. Youth unemployment in outback Queensland is currently at 56.2 per cent. Plus these job losses come on the back of Aurizon railway sacking workers which hit Hughenden hard.”

 “We have big plans for this region, with the abattoir proposal, irrigation proposals and renewable energy developments. It’s alright for these banks to take big profits in the good times. As soon as the dollar signs disappear they take their bat and ball and go home.”

 “We hope that people in Western areas remember what ANZ is doing here. This could mean a lot more to ANZ than just losing business in Hughenden. This is stain on their treatment of people in Western Queensland.”

 Robbie said smaller banks had a better track record of supporting smaller communities.

 “Suncorp stuck by Julia Creek and went in there when a bank pulled out. It’s sickening that huge corporates like ANZ with mega profits just walk away from rural and regional Australia and hang them out to dry.”

 Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said: “Let the people of the North Qld mid-west know that the Labor Government deregulated the wool industry, and we lost around 700 jobs.  Under the Liberal’s National Competition Policy and the acquiescence of the Labor State Government the railways.  The Liberal Government privatised Telstra and sold off the State bank taking away 200 jobs.  Under the corporatisation and deregulation of Ergon by Labor we lost nearly 600 jobs.  Let’s face it the Liberals would have done all of those things faster,” Bob Katter said.

 “With the ANZ Bank Hughenden Bank closure, the reality is we have got no one there to serve us.  I think the KAP policy to take 1.7% of the water by law, will almost certainly see HIDCO become a reality. The Hann Highway should be completed under the present program by 1-2 years.  We are working intensely on the Big Kennedy wind farm and with HIDCO’s irrigation there will be a quartering works and maybe a meatworks in Hughenden.”

 “These things are not happening, they are being MADE to happen by a very tough local leadership, who are setting an example for all of inland Australia.”

 

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Debt Summit calls for government moratorium on bank foreclosures

A meeting of more than 300 cattle producers at Charters Towers has called on the federal government to create the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board and place a moratorium on bank foreclosures before the state’s cattle industry completely collapsed.

Called by the Member for Dalrymple, Shane Knuth, the crisis meeting followed on from a similar meeting held by the Member for Mt Isa, Robbie Katter at Winton last year.

Producers demanded the federal and state governments act immediately to introduce the ARDB, modelled on the Rural Reconstruction Board of 30 years ago which was designed to absorb the “toxic” trading bank interest debt that has engulfed primary industries and to issue low interest development funds for primary producers and small business.

More than 20 resolutions were passed unanimously by the gathering of desperate and often distraught cattle producers.

While an unprecedented 80 per cent of the state is reeling under a drought declaration, producers heard how social media and 60 Minutes superstar Charlie Phillott, 81, of Winton, beat the ANZ Bank and had his property returned with a substantial settlement.

Mr Phillott’s plight has been closely monitored by the 60 Minutes television show and scored an Australian record 3.5 million hits on Toowoomba veterinarian David Pascoe’s social media site.

He urged producers to stick together when fighting questionable behaviour by the banks.

He said he had never missed a repayment but when the bank restructured his loan he was unable to manage and was eventually put off his Winton property after the bank took it over.

“All of us here owe a great deal of gratitude to Bob Katter for he saw my position and stood by me for two years ,” Mr Phillott said.

Primary Industries Minister Bill Byrne when addressing the meeting started an uproar when he said the State Government would not be building more dams because there was “no business return” from farming.

Charters Towers cattleman Mick Pemble attacked the Minister asking why he could not build dams, and “…do what everybody else in this room does and borrow the bloody money!”

“If I could make it rain I would, but our resources are finite and we are working on what can be done in the circumstances,” Mr Byrne said.

“There are amendments before Parliament and our policy is that water is critical to agriculture but the government capacity to fund such a project is limited.

“If you build dams in the city or for mining you get capital back but for agriculture you do not get capital back.

He said federal money or private investment would be needed to build dams.

Meeting chairman Shane Knuth said he was aware of highly questionable behaviour by bank-appointed receivers that had caused a lot of grief to families through no fault of their own.

He said there were many hundreds of northern producers in financial difficulties and the local industry could collapse unless the bank debt issue was resolved.

“I know some of you want to speak, and I am aware that confidentiality agreements stop you from telling us about what the receivers have done to you, but everyone is behind you and we must stop the foreclosures,” Mr Knuth said.

Burdekin farmer Max Menzell asked the Minister why police were involved when foreclosures took place adding that they should not be used by the banks and receivers as debt collectors because foreclosures were a civil matter.

The Minister strongly defended the use of police stating categorically: “That is the law.”

Mr Knuth said more meetings and what actions should be taken would be called unless the government brought the banks into line and stopped foreclosures immediately.

Phillott and the KAP

Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, Charlie Phillott, Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth and Member for Mt Isa Robbie Katter.

Mr Phillott said the northern grazing industry and businesses owed Bob Katter a great deal of gratitude for giving producers a voice in dealing with banks and foreclosures.

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Bob Katter addresses 300 desperate cattle producers and small businessmen at the Charters Towers Debt Summit. Resolutions passed called on the federal government to halt farm foreclosures immediately and enact the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board to absorb toxic bank debt or the northern industry could collapse.

Government Bank Inquiry calling for Public Submissions

In case you were not aware the government House of Representatives on June 4th 2015, referred the terms of reference listed below, relating to the impairment of customer loans, to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services for inquiry and report by 31 March 2016.

sherlockWhat this means is that practices of banks and other financial institutions using a constructive default (security revaluation) process to impair loans by devaluing property held as security increasing the loan to equity ratio to suit their underhanded foreclosure agenda.

Be aware of previously conducted Parliamentary Inquiries that with considerable taxpayer funding did not halt the standover merchants of finance. Take time to read terms of reference and conclusions to get the picture how thick the whitewash was applied.

Joint Parliamentary Committee on Corporate and Financial Services4/5/2009 – Downloador read pdf report [HERE]

Senate Inquiry (Economics Committee) into the role of Liquidators Administrators18/12/2009 – Download or read pdf report [HERE]

The Effectiveness of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission23-7-2013 – Download or read pdf report [HERE]

The committee is looking for submissions from the public and the closing date is 21st August 2015.

I would suggest that everyone read submissions already presented with all farmers reading the 3rd submission put forward by Mr Richard B. Wright and Mrs Barbara Ann Wright. It’s all about ANZ destroying a very successful cattle farming business where bank receivers – sent cattle from a registered stud for slaughter – sent registered horses from a stud to be sold at dogger prices, and much more. [Click Here].

It is important for home owners, business owners and farmers, who have had a lender manufacture a default, to make a submission. However, pay particular attention to the terms of reference listed below, keeping your submission relevant to those terms or your efforts will be deemed not relevant.

Terms of Reference:

  1. practices of banks and other financial institutions using a constructive default (security revaluation) process to impair loans, whereconstructive default/security revaluation means the engineering or the creation of an event of default whereby a financial institution deliberately reduces,through valuation, the value of securities held by that institution, thereby raising the loan-to-value ratio resulting in the loan being impaired;
  2. role of property valuers in any constructive default (security revaluation) process;
  3. practices of banks and other financial institutions in Australia using non-monetary conditions of default to impair the loans of their customers,and the use of punitive clauses such as suspension clauses and offset clauses by these institutions;
  4. role of insolvency practitioners as part of this process;
  5. implications of relevant recommendations of the Financial System Inquiry, particularly recommendations 34 and 36 relating to non-monetaryconditions of default and the external administration regime respectively;
  6. extent to which borrowers are given an opportunity to rectify any genuine default event and the time period typically provided for them to doso;
  7. provision of reasonable written notice to a borrower when a loan is required to be repaid;
  8. appropriateness of the loan to value ratio as a mechanism to default a loan during the period of the loan; and
  9. conditions and requirements to be met prior to the appointment of an external administrator; and
  1. in undertaking this inquiry, the Committee take evidence on:
    1. the incidence and history of:
      1. loan impairments; and
      2. the forced sale of property;
    2. the effect of the forced sale of property in depressed market conditions and drought;
    3. comparisons between valuations and sale price;
    4. the adequacy of the legal obligations on lenders and external administrators (including s420A of the Corporations Act 2001) to obtainfair market value for the forced sale of property; and
    5. any related matters.

On 4 June 2015 the committee resolved that:

  • in conducting the inquiry the committee will not investigate or seek to resolve disputes between customers and banks; and
  • where the experiences of customers may inform the committee about the practices of banks, the committee welcomes submissions that explicitlyaddress the terms of reference.

Link to terms of reference – [HERE]

How to Making a Submission [Download pdf]

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3583
Fax: +61 2 6277 5719
corporations.joint@aph.gov.au

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE

Liberal, Labor, the Murdoch media, their mates the banks and foreign mining companies should be banned from Australia. Withdraw your savings(if you have any) and place your money in credit unions. Never again vote for the ALP or LNP. Do not buy News Ltd newspapers.

Australia I urge you to share this letter written by Dr David Pascoe, which has over a million hits so far. Public outcry is the only way to make the Federal Government act on the massive rural debt issue that is about to bring down the agricultural industry in Australia. We need to stop the foreclosures now! We need to introduce an Australian Reconstruction and Development Board to take over and re-finance farmers’ debt. Otherwise we face a grim future where we will have no Australian farmers left.

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Bob Katter

THIS POST ON FACEBOOK HAS GONE VIRAL AND IS NOW HEADING TOWARDS 1.5 MILLION HITS SINCE POSTED  ON MONDAY AFTERNOON

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Charlie Phillott (left) The Australian December 2014 – Florence Owens Thompson (Dorthea Lange) March 1936 (originally photographed in b&w and retouched)

Dear Men and Women of Australia,

There are two photographs on this page, and while they might look like father and daughter, they are separated by two nations, one ocean and some seventy years.

Yet incredibly, they are both part of the same tragedy, the kind that leaves deep and irreparable scars on a nation and its people for a lifetime.

The young woman who was born in 1907. The elderly man who was born twenty years later in 1927.

The photograph of the woman was taken in the Great Depression of 1936 when the man was still only 9 years old.

Her name was Florence Owens Thompson and she was a 32 year old mother of seven who was photographed sitting homeless in a tent. The image was published across the newspapers of America and it managed to enrage the nation, because people could not believe that Americans could be treated in such a way.

It forced President Roosevelt to act, to step up and become a leader for his times: he launched soup kitchens, work gangs, programs for the homeless, dams and roads and railways were built – and he gave his people hope.

John Steinbeck later wrote a book called The Grapes of Wrath which became an American literary Icon. It was about a drought that made the farmers penniless – and how the banks had forced them off their land so they could sell it on to the big powerful corporations. What happened to the farmers of Oklahoma ultimately carved a deep and shameful scar across the American identity that was felt throughout the Twentieth Century.

The second photograph on this page is of Charlie Phillott, now 87, an elderly farmer from the ruggedly beautiful Carisbrooke Station at Winton. He has owned his station since 1960, nurtured it and loved it like a part of his own flesh. He is a grand old gentleman, one of the much loved and honoured fathers of his community.

ANZNot so long ago, the ANZ bank came and drove him off his beloved station because the drought had devalued his land and they told him he was considered an unviable risk-  Yet –  “Charlie Phillott has never once missed a single mortgage payment”.

Today this dignified Grand Old Man of the West is living like some hunted down refugee in Winton, shocked and humiliated and penniless. And most of all, Charlie Phillott is ashamed, because as a member of the Great Generation – those fine and decent and ethical men and women who built this country – he believes that what happened to him was somehow his own fault. And the ANZ Bank certainly wanted to make sure they made him feel like that.

Last Friday my wife Heather and I flew up with Alan Jones to attend the Farmers Last Stand drought and debt meeting in Winton. And after what I saw being done to our own people, I have never been more ashamed to be Australian in my life.

What is happening out there is little more than corporate terrorism: our own Australian people are being bullied, threatened and abused by both banks and mining companies until they are forced off their own land.

So we must ask: “is this simply to move the people off their land and free up it up for mining by foreign mining companies or make suddenly newly empty farms available for purchase by Chinese buyers? As outrageous as it might seem, all the evidence flooding in seems to suggest that this is exactly what is going on”.

  • What is the role of Government in all of this?
  • Why have both the State and Federal Government stood back and allowed such a dreadful travesty to happen to our own people?
  • Where was Campbell Newman on this issue? Where was Prime Minister Abbott?

The answerThey are nowhere to be seen.

For the last few months, the Prime Minister has warned us against the threats of terrorism to our nation. We have been alerted to ISIS and its clear and present danger to the Australian people.

Abbott has despatched Australian military forces into the Middle East in an effort to destroy this threat to our own safety and security. This mobilization of our military forces has come at a massive and unbudgeted expense to the average Australian taxpayer which the Prime Minister estimates to be around half a billion dollars each year.

We are told that terrorism is dangerous not only because of the threat to human life but also because it displaces populations and creates the massive human cost of refugees.

Yet not one single newspaper or politician in this land has exposed the fact that the worst form of terrorism that is happening right now is going on inside the very heartland of our own nation as banks and foreign mining companies are deliberately and cruelly forcing our own Australian farmers off the land.

What we saw in the main hall of the Winton Shire Council on Friday simply defied all description: a room filled with hundreds of broken and battered refuges from our own country. It was a scene more tragic and traumatic than a dozen desperate funerals all laced onto the one stage.

Right now, all over the inland of both Queensland and NSW, there is nothing but social and financial carnage on a scale that has never before been witnessed in this nation.

It was 41 degrees when we touched down at the Winton airport, and when you fly in low over this landscape it is simply Apocalyptic: there has not been a drop of rain in Winton for two years and there is not a sheep, a cow, a kangaroo, an emu or a bird in sight. Even the trees in the very belly of the creeks are dying.

There is little doubt that this is a natural disaster of incredible magnitude – and yet nobody – neither state nor the federal government – is willing to declare it as such.

The suicide rate has now reached such epic proportions right across the inland: not just the farmer who takes the walk “ up the paddock” and does away with himself but also their children and their wives. Once again, it has barely been covered by the media, a dreadful masquerade that has assisted by the reticence and shame of honourable farming families caught in these tragic situations.

My wife is one of the toughest women I know. Her family went into North West of Queensland as pioneers one hundred years ago: this is her blood country and these are her people . Yet when she stood up to speak to this crowd on Friday she suddenly broke down: she told me later that when she looked into the eyes of her own people, what she saw was enough to break her heart

And yet not one of us knew it was this bad, this much of a national tragedy. The truth is that these days, the Australian media basically doesn’t give a damn. They have been muzzled and shut down by governments and foreign mining companies to the extent that they are no longer willing to write the real story. So the responsibility is now left to people like us, to social media – and you, the Australian people.

And so the banks have been free to play their games and completely terrorise these people at their leisure. The drought has devalued the land and the banks have seen their opportunity to strike. It was exactly the excuse that they needed to clean up and make a fortune, because once the rains come – as they always do – this land will be worth four to ten times the price.

In fact, when farmers have asked for the payout figures, the banks have been either deeply reluctant or not capable of providing the mortgage trail because they have on-sold the mortgage – just like sub-prime agriculture.

This problem isn’t simply happening in Winton, but rather right across the entire inland across Queensland and NSW. The banks have been bringing in the police to evict Australian famers and their families from their farms, many of them multigenerational. One farmer matter of factly told us it took “oh, about 7 police” to evict him from his first farm and “maybe about twelve” to evict him from his second farm which had been in his family for many generations. You think they are kidding you. Then you see the expression in their eyes.

And there was something far worse in the room on Friday: the fear of speaking out against the banks: when we asked people to tell us who had done this to them, they would immediately start to shake and cry and look away: They have been silenced to protect the good corporate image of their tormentors called the banks. What in God’s name have the bastard banks been allowed to do to our people?

This is a travesty against the rights and the human dignity

of every Australian

So it’s only fair that we start to name a few of major banks involved: The ANZ is a major culprit (they made $7 billion profit last year). Then there is Rabo – which is an international agricultural bank – the NAB, Bank West and Westpac (who paid CEO Gail Kelly a yearly salary of some $12 million). They are all equally guilty. For any that we have missed, rest assured they will be publicly exposed as well

But here’s the thing: when these people are forced off their farms, they have nowhere to go. There are no refugee services waiting, such is the case for those who attempt to enter the sovereign borders of this nation. The farmers simply drive to the nearest town – that’s if the banks haven’t stripped their cars off them as well – and they try and find somewhere to sleep. Some are sleeping on the backs of trucks in swags. There is basically no home or accommodation made available to take them. They camp out, shocked and broken and penniless – and they are living on weet bix and noodles. If there is someone that can lend a family enough money to buy food, they will: otherwise they are left completely alone.

And consider this: not one of them has asked for help. Not one. They just do the best they can, ashamed and broken and brainwashed by the banks to believe that everything that has happened is completely their own fault

There is not one single word of this from a politicians lips, with the exception of the incredibly courageous father and son team of Bob and Robbie Katter, who organised the Farmers Last Stand meeting. The Katter family have been in the North since the 1890’s, and nobody who sat in that hall last Friday could question their love and commitment to their own people.

There is barely a mention of any of this as well in the newspapers, with the exception of a brief splash of publicity that followed our visit.

The Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce attended the meeting in a bitter blue-funk kind of mood that saw him mostly hunched over and staring at the floor. He had given $100 million of financial assistance in a lousy deal where the Government will borrow at 2.75% and loan it back at 3.21%.

The last thing these people need is another loan: they need a Redevelopment Bank to refinance their own loans: issuing a loan to pay off a loan is nothing more than financial suicide.

The reality is that Joyce cannot get support from what he calls “the shits in Cabinet” to create a desperately needed Redevelopment Bank so that these farmers can get cheap loans to tide them through to the end of the drought.

Our sources suggest that those “shits in Cabinet” include:

Malcolm Turnbull – Minister for Communications and the uber-cool trendy city-centric Liberal in the black leather jacket.

Andrew Robb – Minster for Trade and Investment and the man behind the free trade deal, the man who suddenly acquired three trendy Sydney restaurants almost overnight, the man who seems to suddenly desperate to sell off our farms to China.

Greg Hunt, Environment Minister and the man who is instantly approving almost every single mining project that is put in front of him.

 

At the conclusion of the meeting, we stood and met some of the people in the crowd. My wife talked to women who would hug her for dear life, and when they walked away people would suddenly murmur “oh, she was forced off last week” or “they are being forced off tomorrow” . Not one of them mentioned it to us. They had too much pride.

The Australian people need to be both informed and desperately outraged about what is being done to our own people. This is about every right that was once held dear to us: human rights, property rights, civil rights. And most all, our right to freedom of speech. All of that has been taken away from these people – and the rest of us need to understand that we are probably next.

In the last four weeks the Newman Government has removed all farmers rights to protest to a mine and given mining companies the rights to take all the water they want from the Great Artesian Basin – and at no cost to them at all.

And all of this has happened under the watch of both Premier Newman and Prime Minister Abbott.

Until Friday, we used to think of Winton as the home of Waltzing Matilda: it was written at a local station and first performed in the North Gregory Hotel. I think it was Don McLean who wrote, “something touched me deep inside…the day the music died”… in his song American Pie, and for us, last Friday was the day music died.

We will never be able to sing Waltzing Matilda again until we see some justice for these people, and all the farmers of the inland.

This is no longer the Australia we once knew: no longer our country, no longer our people, no longer the decent caring leaders we once remembered.

Right now, the banks, the mining mates, the corrupt politicians and all the ‘mongrels in suits’ have won – and the Australian people don’t have a clue what has been done to them.

Like the American Depression and the iconic photograph of Florence Owens Thompson, there is a terrible, gaping wound that has been carved across the heartland of this nation.

We need to fully grasp that, and to understand that our people – dignified, decent and honourable old men like Charlie Phillott – have been deliberately terrorized, brutalised – and sold out.

In one sense, Charlie Phillott has become the symbol overnight of every decent Australian: the simple right to live out our lives on the land we love – and the land we are still free to call our own. At least until some dangerously persuaded corrupted trendy liberal theorist decided to strip all that away.

The truth is, no Australian was ever consulted about whether or not they wanted to see their land mined into oblivion or see our precious water poisoned and given away for free, whether they wanted to be driven off their land by the greed of banking executives who saw the chance to make a profit by wiping out the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us.

No Australian was ever consulted about whether or not we wanted to see our beloved homeland sold on the cheap to greedy faceless foreigners just because some slimy two-faced minister managed to convince a weakened prime minster to meekly carry out his bidding.

Nobody has asked, “We the People” – Not once.

So if we are ever going to do something, then we’d better realise that its now only two minutes to midnight – so we’d better move fast.

Regards

David

Please share this as widely as you can across Australia. You are now the only truthful means we have to spread the message.  Contact politicians, contact newspapers, radio and television stations. Demand that your voice is heard.

Commonwealth Bank fleeces the economy of $8.6b: any wonder we are broke

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has announced the highest ever financial heist by any bank in the country of $8.6 billion, to the end of June 2014.

Today the ANZ Bank announced a nine month profit of $5 billion.

All of this without ever lending one cent in legal tender of their deposits.

While Queensland wallows in a sea of debt owed to foreign bankers thanks to the former Labor Government, the State Treasurer Tim Nicolls by his inaction, does not understand the basic tenets of the creation of money.

The Commonwealth Bank has in effect taken $8.6 billion out of the national economy, by creating a monetary deposit every time a loan is approved.

When struggling borrowers repay their loans with their wages or business income covering interest and redemption, the bank profits by the entire amount with money it did not originally possess.

The fractional reserve system enables banks to lend at least 18 times the value of their deposits without lending one cent in legal tender (notes and coins).

Has any bank customer ever been told by a teller, “ I am sorry I can’t cover your withdrawal because we lent your deposit to another customer.”

The CBA will pay a dividend of an average $3,500 to every shareholder.

Treasurer Tim Nichols legally can set up a State Bank lending to local authorities and for development projects without borrowing one cent from any bank.

State Banking once was National Party policy.

This bank can issue credit at low interest rates for projects against the collateral value of the mineral and agricultural resources of the State.

Infrastructure funding would be available for large projects such as new railways which are desperately needed to take the pressure off the State’s crumbling road network.

Treasurer Nicholls and his party could easily remain in power if he had the integrity and intestinal fortitude to buck the banks and help desperate farmers and businesses in the State to prosper.

Selling publicly owned assets is unlawful because the corporate ‘Queensland Government’ does not own them.