Sydney (Press Release Australian Citizens Party, 28 April): An unprecedented window of opportunity has opened for achieving, within weeks, the establishment of an emergency national investment bank that can revive Australia’s economy. Success or failure hinges on what we do in the next few weeks to put this policy on Parliament’s agenda before it resumes for a trial sitting in May.
Your efforts are crucial to winning this fight.
The Citizens Party has developed the idea of turning the only existing public credit institution in Australia, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), into an emergency national investment bank. Bob Katter and the Katter’s Australian Party have adopted this policy as their own. They are pushing ahead with drafting legislation to slightly amend the CEFC Act to expand its powers beyond just investing in clean-energy technology, to invest in more general infrastructure and industries that Australia needs, and which can provide desperately needed jobs.
Of the other parties, both One Nation and the Greens support a national bank, and Centre Alliance is considering the proposal. While Labor’s position is unclear, Anthony Albanese is pushing for the immediate launch of the long-discussed fast train from Melbourne to Sydney to Brisbane, which is exactly the kind of project a revamped CEFC could fund. As for the government, there are individual Liberals who are excited by the proposal, but as the Coalition has long been in the pockets of the private banks (as has Labor), there will also be internal opposition that we must overcome.
The good news is the hard-core neoliberals who will oppose the investment bank have lost all economic credibility, as it is their ideology that destroyed our manufacturing industries and gutted our healthcare systems, leaving us vulnerable to this crisis.