ROBBER BANK: Robert Gottliebsen, Business columnist, writing in The Weekend Australian on 4 March 2017 under the heading ‘NAB destroys its own small business brand.’ said: “National Australia Bank is defying the will of the Parliament on fair contracts. National Australia Bank has written to most of its Australian small business borrowers advising them that the NAB has changed its lending agreements to comply with the unfair contracts act.

Accordingly, many thousands of small businesses around Australia believe that the laws of the Australian Parliament are protecting them.

Unfortunately, the new NAB business-lending contract, in my view, is not only in breach of the act but those small business borrowers whose contracts were changed have been misled. They are not protected.” (See report below)

It was also reported in the same paper, that: “National Australia Bank chief Andrew Thorburn has pushed back against any weakening of lenders’ powers to revise loan terms with small business customers, warning it would lift interest rates and limit the flow of credit.

Among 15 recommendations, an inquiry by Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell called for the banking industry to overhaul non-monetary default contract clauses to remove banks’ “unilateral power” to invoke loan defaults.

The behaviour of the bank, by comparison, makes Ned Kelly look like a consummate gentleman or even a Sunday School teacher.

And, such blatant and reprehensible behaviour demonstrates contempt for the law, the Parliament and most of all for the small businesses the bank is ripping off. And CoSBA looks to Kate Carnell, the Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack and the Minister for Revenue & Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer to take urgent action, in their respective capacities, to bring this bank to heel.

In echoing these sentiments, Ken Phillips, Independent Contractors Australia (a member of CoSBA), on 4.March 2017, said: “The National Australia Bank (NAB) has been caught out, in our view, in bald-faced lying to its small business customers. In so doing, it has trashed its own brand. Again, our view is that, for small business people, NAB has just declared that it can’t be trusted.” (See article below)

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: The Australian newspaper on March 9, 2017 under the heading ‘Sir Les Patterson crashes Leak’s party’ “The battle against political correctness is “the fight of our time”, proclaimed Anthony Morris QC at the launch of cartoonist Bill Leak’s latest book. Trigger Warning is a collection of Leak’s most popular cartoons published in The Australian last year.

Mr Morris, the lawyer who represented QUT students in a case concerning section­ 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, launched the book at Sydney’s Centre for Independent Studies and heralded Leak as a champion of free speech. “There is nothing more serious than comedy, and there is no genre of comedy more serious than political satire,” he said.

What more needs to be said?