If dishonesty and disrespecting the facts are the measure for holding a senior position in the Australian Greens, Peter Dutton should be vying for the top post against Richard Di Natale.
Westpac is at the caning end of a witch hunt currently going on because 23 million international transactions went through their system, which was supposedly non-compliant with Austrac requirements.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has used Question Time to accuse Westpac of giving “a free pass to paedophiles”.
Mr Dutton used a question from a government backbencher to talk up the work of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac), which is taking civil proceedings against Westpac over allegations it has broken finance laws 23 million times.
Westpac banking bosses, through their negligence, have given a free pass to paedophiles and there is a price to pay for that and that price will be paid and we have been very clear about it,” Mr Dutton said.
“We have no more important undertaking as a government than to keep Australian children safe. We will continue to do it. It is clear that the Westpac Banking bosses have failed that obligation.
“We will make sure through Austrac and the other entities within the home affairs portfolio that people who commit those egregious offences or breaches of the law will pay a serious price.”
This kind of emotive talk belongs to the Greens – not a senior minister in the Liberal Government.
The reality is that Westpac self-reported the potential breach and like usual for any government run organisation such as Austrac etc., they most likely read about the breach the first time in the newspapers and got a handle at the same time as everyone else. Our government is not exactly the most agile beast in the jungle.
Westpac’s so-called failure was not to upgrade their systems in time, to detect suspicious transactions.
One commenter at Catallaxy suggests there was one breach of a payment by a pedo going to some nefarious website. That’s one transaction in 23 million!
Another commenter suggests there were a total of 12 suspicious remittances.
The 23 million remittances that were in breach were so because these transactions had gone through without being subjected to the updated system. Dutton knows this. To suggest what he did, as a senior Liberal party minister is an absolute disgrace. If Morrison had a set, he would fire this propagandist twit.
How about this novel idea? How about governments not making banks policemen. If the government wants to police remittances they should get Austrac to do it and leave the banks alone.