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Media Releases - October 2016

Media Release, 26 October 2016

A slow death for the Reef


New surveys show the Reef is continuing to die 6 months on from the worst coral bleaching episode ever recorded earlier this year.

GetUp climate campaigns director Miriam Lyons said this comes at a time when the Turnbull Government is waging a war on Australians protecting the Reef, trying to have another crack at bringing in undemocratic laws that restrict the community's power to appeal against destructive mining developments.

"But the Queensland LNP has left Malcolm Turnbull stranded, because they know how unpopular these laws were when Tony Abbott tried to introduce them," said Ms Lyons

"Malcolm Turnbull is prepared to rewrite environmental laws to allow coal projects to go ahead, but does nothing about all the roadblocks in front of renewable energy projects.

"If Turnbull wants to improve his popularity with the public, he needs to stop pandering to the coal interests and climate deniers that dominate his party, and back renewable energy, as he did during the election.

"Millions of people around Australia have an interest in the protection of the Great Barrier Reef from the mining and burning of coal.

"Removing our rights denies the genuine concerns of millions of people who want a healthy Reef and the economic benefits that come with it.

"The impacts of climate change are right at our doorstep, and they're happening now.

"69,000 jobs in the tourism industry rely on a healthy and vibrant Great Barrier Reef and tourists are hardly going to flock from all over the world to see a dead Reef.

"We need to protect our Reef, our climate and our future by doing all we can to assist the transition to renewable energy.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 25 October 2016

Efforts to reduce environmental protection are stupid and a waste of time: GetUp


GetUp has warned the government to ready itself for another humiliating failure in the Senate if the government goes ahead with efforts to remove laws that protect the environment from dangerous projects.

"There was no support for it a year ago and there's no reason to think that's changed," said Miriam Lyons, GetUp's Environmental Justice Campaign Director.

"Last time the government sought to weaken laws that protect the environment under Tony Abbott, Labor, the Greens and Nick Xenophon stood up to oppose the changes, protect citizens' rights and protect jobs in the tourism industry.

"The Minister for Energy and the Environment Josh Frydenberg told Radio National this morning that the Turnbull Government will deny members of environment groups the right to challenge dangerous projects because they have "no interest".

"If offshore plutocrats want to build a massive coal mine that threatens the Reef, is it too much to ask that they follow the laws? Why do they need to get the law changed so that they can build this dangerous coal mine that threatens the Reef? That's special treatment.

"Millions of people around Australia have an interest in the protection of the Great Barrier Reef from the mining and burning of coal.

"Mining and burning coal causes global warming. It increases the temperature of the Reef's waters and exposes the Reef to dangers like coral bleaching. People are understandably pretty worried about it. This is one of the reasons they donate to groups like GetUp who support important environmental law cases, like those opposing the Carmichael mine.

"Removing our rights denies the genuine concerns of millions of people who want a healthy Reef and the economic benefits that come with it.

"This project threatens over 69,000 jobs in the tourism industry who rely on a healthy and vibrant Great Barrier Reef.

"Adani has too much power over government. Otherwise, why would the Minister be peddling Adani's misleading numbers around the numbers of jobs the project will create?  Adani continually says 10,000 jobs, but in court, under oath the company was forced to admit the number is under 1,500.

"Minister, Australians have an interest in whether this project goes ahead. This Reef is everyone's, and it is going to be ruined unless we do what we can to prevent the world's biggest mine going ahead.

"We recommend before you threaten members of groups like GetUp, you check the numbers in the Senate, or this latest government thought bubble will die quicker than a turtle covered in coal dust," said Miriam Lyons.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 25 October 2016

Being sued by multinational corporations in secret courts will cost you dearly, make you sick and ruin the environment: GetUp


A new report has revealed the significant potential costs to our health, environment and economy under the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The 'Canary in the Coalmine' report, authored by Dr Kyla Tienhaara and commissioned by GetUp, draws upon the experience of Canada as a useful predictor of what ISDS might look like in Australia under the TPP.

It finds that ISDS lawsuits around the world are on the rise, especially from US multinationals. It also notes a chilling effect on important environmental and health regulations – a phenomenon called "regulatory chill".

The research finds:

  • In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in predatory behaviour by multinational corporations. In 2015, there were 70 ISDS disputes worldwide, the highest number in any one year.
  • Governments lose or settle ISDS cases far more often than they win them. Cases are settled or the corporation wins in 52% of global ISDS cases,whilst the state wins in a mere 36% of suits.
  • The Canadian Government has lost or settled 62.7% of the ISDS cases brought against it under the North American Free Trade Agreement. More than half of these involved claims against provincial or territorial government measures.
  • As a direct result of ISDS, Canada reversed a precautionary ban on a dangerous fuel additive exposing citizens to a neurotoxin for six years longer than they would have been otherwise.


 Natalie O'Brien, GetUp's Economic Fairness Campaigns Director, said the report demonstrates the enormous risks Australia will face under the TPP's ISDS provisions.

"At the heart of the Trans-Pacific Partnership are expanded powers for multinational corporations through the highly controversial ISDS provisions.

"The TPP would allow multinationals to sue our government in secret courts – risking Australia's strong public health measures, environmental protections and workers' rights.

"Multinationals based in the USA and Canada are the most litigious in the world by an enormous margin – the Trans-Pacific Partnership would leave Australia exposed to both.

"Perhaps the most terrifying finding is the evidence of 'regulatory chill', where governments back away from critical health or environmental regulations because of the threat of ISDS.

"The Quebec Government revoked fracking rights in St Lawrence after an assessment that it would impact local marine life. Now they are being sued under ISDS by an American corporation seeking US$118.9 million in compensation.

"Despite enormous public concern over the TPP, the Turnbull Government has flatly refused to undertake an independent cost analysis. It was an irresponsible decision – and now we can see why.

"Fortunately, 2064 Australians took matters into their own hands, crowd-funding to get this cost analysis done so that people can know the risks of the TPP", she said.

This report will be submitted to the Senate Inquiry into the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.

See the summary report here
See the full report here

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 21 October 2016

GetUp! to hand out 'get Big Money out of politics' cards to Liberal Party state council attendees


GetUp members will assemble outside the NSW Liberal Party State Council TOMORROW (Saturday) handing out information about the damaging influence of Big Money on our politics.

Paul Oosting, GetUp National Director, said the Australian political system was rigged to favour the interests of billionaires and big corporations over everyday people.

"Billionaires and big corporations are flooding the system with cash and drowning out the voices of everyday people.

"Time after time our politicians give corporations special treatment and make policy decisions that favour vested interests.

"When the political system is rigged to favour corporate interests, it's everyday people that lose out – the very people that our politicians are supposed to represent.

"We're handing out information to NSW Liberal Party members at today's State Council. We're hoping they'll stop to consider the perverse influence of Big Money on our democracy.

"We're here to let them know that everyday people are fed up with the disproportionate influence of Big Money. Whether they like it or not people-power is going to reclaim our democracy.

"There's been lots of talk about democratic integrity from within the Liberal Party lately. But the real lack of democracy is the Big Money payoffs from billionaires and vested interests.

"When the Liberal Party insist that we don't have the means to fund local hospitals, then turn around and give Big Business a huge tax giveaway, it's apparent what's going on behind closed doors.

"When huge corporations are dodging tax left right and centre, and cost of living keeps rising for everyday people, it's clear reform is long overdue," he said.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 20 October 2016

Abetz should stop trying to use GetUp to distract from the donations he accepts from coal corporations


Eric Abetz's obsession with GetUp has seen him waste more of the Parliament's time on a vexatious line of inquiry instead of addressing real problems in our political system.

Paul Oosting, GetUp's National Director, said Senator Abetz's hurt feelings over the election result should not be used to waste the Parliament's time and obfuscate public concerns about the millions of dollars in big-money corporate payoffs funneled into the Liberal National Party.

"Senator Abetz blames GetUp for the massive swings against his hard-right factional allies at the last election - he has said so on numerous occasions.

"Clearly he's got his feelings hurt, so he's using his position and wasting Parliament's time attacking the one million Australians that make up the GetUp movement.  

"Senator Abetz would be better placed using Parliament to address the ways big corporations and billionaires have rigged the political system to serve their interests at the expense of everyday people.

"Instead of asking about GetUp's charity status, Abetz should be asking about the limitless corporate cash flooding our political system and drowning out the voices of everyday people.

"While GetUp accepts small dollar donations from our one million members, politicians like Senator Abetz are accepting big-dollar payoffs from billionaire corporations.

"The Liberal National Party take donations from fossil fuel companies, and give them with eye-watering tax giveaways and let them pollute for free.

"Senator Abetz himself has repeatedly blocked attempts to reform political donations – it certainly begs the question: whose interests is he serving?

"Senator Abetz has been a leading denier of climate change within the Liberal Party, attempting to scuttle attempts to address the issue and the economic damage it would cause.

"Instead he would prefer to focus on reducing the democratic involvement of hundreds of thousands of GetUp members who want action on global warming.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 20 October 2016

Government concession sees gag removed from doctors working in detention


Doctors will no longer face jail terms for speaking out about the abuse and neglect in offshore detention centres, after a major concession by the government.

A High Court challenge to the Border Force Act will see doctors now able to inform the Australian people about the medical condition of people in offshore detention.

The case was brought by Doctors for Refugees, run by the Fitzroy Legal Service, and with support from GetUp members and the Grata Fund.

Dr Barri Phatarfod, President of Doctors for Refugees, welcomed the decision saying doctors should not face jail time for speaking out about child abuse, sexual abuse and medical negligence occurring in Australian run offshore detention.

"The government has been forced into a backdown as a result of this case.

"Health professionals, including doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists and others are now exempt from the Act.

"However, teachers and social workers are still gagged under these laws. That's obviously a great concern.

"This week Four Corners' coverage of Amnesty International's report Island of Despair included the testimony of brave teachers who are terrified of what could happen to them as a result of speaking out.

"The government's backdown follows mass protests against the Border Force act.

"Health professionals stood up around the country in the last few years in support of the people suffering in offshore detention.

Lead solicitor Meghan Fitzgerald from the Fitzroy Legal Centre who ran the case said the exemption is a welcome move to transparency in detention centres on and off shore.

"The conditions in which asylum seekers and refugees live - including pregnant women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities - and the medical treatment they do or do not receive, deserve to be heard.

However, Ms Fitzgerald was adamant the government has not gone far enough.

"These centres are still places of great secrecy. Credible media are unable to report from Nauru.  

"Whether there is active TB in the detention camps, or young children are being assaulted by guards, Australians deserve to know."

Note:
Currently, Doctors for Refugees is advocating for several children denied special needs care as well as women unable to get a breast lump biopsy and other significant deviations from appropriate medical treatment. We have around 160 active cases of concern.

Doctors for Refugees will continue with a March for Refugees in Sydney on November 5 calling for an end to offshore and indefinite detention and improvements to healthcare provided to refugees and asylum seekers.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 19 October 2016

Senate estimates reveals ASIC corporate registry used as 'cash cow' for government


Today's Senate estimates hearing before the Economics Committee revealed how successive governments have benefited from enormous windfalls from Australia's corporate database, while allowing the technology to fall into a state of disrepair.


Responding to questions from Greens Senator Whish-Wilson, ASIC revealed that they have repeatedly asked the government for funding to upgrade the IT systems, to no avail.

Natalie O'Brien, GetUp's Economic Fairness Director, said that the government has been overcharging civil society for use of the database, well over the operating costs.

"The government has been profiting off the backs of journalists and academics who are doing their best to hold corporations to account over their dodgy tax affairs.

"The registry is bringing in well over $800 million in annual revenue – over thirteen times ASIC's annual operating costs.

"At the same time, they've failed to make basic infrastructure investments to ensure Australia has the technology to effectively police corporate wrongdoing.

"It's basic common sense – if you want to hold private corporations to account, you need to maintain the corporate transparency database.

"Successive governments on both sides of politics have milked the ASIC registry for well over a decade without reinvesting in the critical tax transparency infrastructure.

"They have let our corporate database fall into a terrible state of disrepair, while beating cash out of those who need access in order to hold corporations to account.

"Given the enormous profit margins, the government could easily choose to make this data free, bringing Australia into line with international best practice.

"Instead they've pocketed all the profits, and hoped no one would notice that the centrepiece of Australia's corporate transparency infrastructure has been left to rot.

"Well too bad – 80,000 Australians aren't about to let them get away with it," said Ms O'Brien.

See the GetUp petition here

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 14 October 2016

Crowdfunding campaign calls out Turnbull on marriage equality stall


GetUp today launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund posters, adverts on phone booths and, if the campaign raises enough money, a giant billboard, in Malcolm Turnbull's electorate of Wentworth.

Sally Rugg, Campaign Director for Marriage Equality, GetUp said "The "plebiscite or bust" myth is one of the most extraordinary pieces of political PR.

"Marriage equality opponents are desperate to hide the glaringly obvious: if Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull simply allowed a free vote, we could have marriage equality by the end of the year.


"This advertising campaign is to call out Prime Minister Turnbull for his personal responsibility for any further delay for marriage equality, and to push back on the idea that the plebiscite was the only way forward.


"Mr Turnbull's electorate is in the historical heartland of Australia's LGBTQIA+ rights movement, the home of Mardi Gras and many rainbow families.

"He is going to have to face up to his personal responsibility in his home turf.



"A free vote on marriage equality is possible, but only if every person in favour of marriage equality keeps pushing for it. Now that the plebiscite is dead, it's crucial we keep up the momentum for reform.

"We won't let Malcolm Turnbull get away with pretending that there is no other option for marriage equality." Said Rugg

Donate to the campaign here

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 12 October 2016

Time for Queensland to cash in on its most critical resource: renewable energy


Getup has welcomed Queensland's important first step towards cleaning up its energy system. The government's renewable energy expert panel today released their draft report on reaching a 50% target by 2030.

"Clean wind and solar are the energy sources of the future and Queensland has some of the best solar resources in the world", said GetUp's Queensland Organiser Ellen Roberts.

"Queensland currently gets only 7% of its energy from renewables, so enabling the energy transition will create thousands of jobs and boost regional economies.

"The transition to 50% renewable energy will create 6,700 jobs in Queensland, and will be cost neutral to consumers.

"Renewables are a great supplement to farmers' incomes and deliver much more affordable and reliable energy  to our remote communities. Queenslanders are passionate about solar, and we have some of the highest rates of solar installation in the world.

"Queensland currently has the highest total emissions in the country, and we need to get emissions down if we're to have a vibrant future for our agricultural and tourism industries.

"The coral bleaching event this year showed that the impacts of climate change are right at our doorstep, and they're happening now. We need to protect our Reef, our climate and our future by doing all that we can to assist the transition to renewable energy.

"Going 50% renewable is a great first step, but it's not the endgame. Our Homegrown Power Plan shows the massive benefits to be gained by shifting to 100% renewable power by 2030.

"Today's report shows the 6,700 jobs to be gained, and $6.7 billion of investment to be won, from the Queensland government's existing 50% target. Imagine how much more Queensland could benefit from beating the rest of Australia to the 100% renewable finish line!

"Queensland is stepping up to become a leader in renewable energy, but it also needs a plan to shift away from the dirty and dangerous fuels of the past.

"We're concerned that the government is downplaying the need to transition away from outmoded, polluting, coal-fired power.

"A safe climate future is in renewables, not in burning dirty fuel. Community and workers deserve a plan for a fair and orderly transition away from coal and gas." said Roberts

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 11 October 2016

It's time we got wise to the great immigration con and stopped scapegoating asylum seekers

< br> Australia's politicians are effectively misleading people on the number of migrants that come to this country every year, refusing to acknowledge that visas are issued to over 800,000 permanent and temporary long-stay migrants each year, in order to scapegoat asylum seekers and conceal alternative policy approaches.  

"In the last 15 years politicians from both sides have presided over the biggest immigration program this country has ever seen in its post Federation history, and people coming here has been key to economic growth, diversity and stability of this nation." said GetUp's Human Rights Director Shen Narayanasamy

"We regularly absorb a massive number of people all the time, how can they tell us that 2000 people on Manus and Nauru can't come to Australia?

"We need to to recognize that we have blocked safe pathways that force people onto boats, and can provide people safe orderly pathways by using the current immigration approach.

"It's a con. It binds us to an approach that has at the heart the abuse of men, women and children and blinds us to the obvious alternatives to deal with the real problem. It's a pretence that we don't already have the tools available to set up a managed process.

"At their panic-inducing peak in 2013, boat arrivals brought 25,173 people seeking safety to Australia. Over the same period we welcomed 818,863 people on a variety of long-stay temporary and permanent visas … without anyone batting an eyelid.

"It's time we woke up to the con. Politicians focus on a small group of people arriving by boat.

"What the con conceals is that if we already use existing resources to provide safe and orderly pathways to people.

"Currently we block people seeking to rebuild their lives in safety.

"Of course it is easier to win elections by stoking fears around a small number of people who arrive by boat, than mounting the case to a disquieted and anxious public about the benefits of high levels of immigration, indeed uncapped levels of immigration in some areas.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 11 October 2016

GetUp Members celebrate plebiscite failure as a campaign win, urgently call for free vote


After news that divisive plebiscite for marriage is now dead, GetUp announced that today it will continue campaigning for a free vote in parliament to extend the right to marry to all.

GetUp members and the LGBTQIA+ community are today celebrating the failure of the Coalition's proposed plebiscite on marriage equality and the damaging debate and public funded bigotry that would have accompanied the expensive process.  

"Avoiding a plebiscite means our country won't have to endure a divisive, expensive, harmful popular vote on Australians' right to marry." said GetUp Marriage Equality Director Sally Rugg.

"This is a win for all of Australia. It's a win for democracy, common sense and solidarity. And it's a win for the LGBTQIA+ community, who have worked so hard for this outcome.

"When we reform our discriminatory marriage laws, Australia will know that we didn't compromise the safety of vulnerable LGBTQIA+ people to do it. We'll know we didn't bastardise the processes of representative democracy to appease a fringe group of the Coalition.

"A free vote on marriage equality is possible, but only if every person in favour of marriage equality keeps pushing for it. Now that the plebiscite is dead, it's crucial we keep up the momentum for reform.

"Together, people across Australia have shifted public opinion in support of equal marriage rights, and galvanised opposition to a plebiscite in favour of a parliamentary free vote.

"Don't underestimate the campaign for marriage equality. It's won't end until we have equal rights for all.  

"Thousands of GetUp members emailed their Labor representative since the plebiscite bill was revealed three weeks ago calling on them to block the bill.

A joint petition with GetUp and Australian Marriage Equality with over 59,000 signatures calling for a free vote instead of a plebiscite was delivered to parliament in the last sitting season.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 10 October 2016

The Reef is critical infrastructure, not the Carmichael mine


The Queensland government's plan to give Adani's proposed Carmichael coal project "critical infrastructure" status will put the Great Barrier Reef in grave danger and threaten thousands of regional jobs.

Miriam Lyons, GetUp's Climate Justice campaign director, said the Queensland government should be blocking this unpopular and unnecessary project and focus on providing real job opportunities for regional communities.

"The government has repeated Adani's lie that this project will create 10,000 jobs - those jobs don't exist and they never did.

"Adani's own economics expert testified in court that the real number is more like 1400. That's a tiny number when this mine puts 69,000 Reef tourism jobs under threat.

"Tourists aren't exactly going to flock from all over the world to see a dead Reef.

"Our politicians must stop repeating Adani's lies, giving false hope to regional communities. The people of Queensland need real opportunities, and real investment in the jobs of the future.

"The Adani project is struggling to secure finance as the world turns away from polluting coal-fired power and towards renewables.

"Queensland can be a leader in renewable energy or it can keep us stuck with the dirty and dangerous fuels of the past. Unfortunately with this announcement, the Palaszczuk government is dragging us backwards.

"There's thousands of potential jobs in renewable energy for regional Queensland, and unlike coal, those projects won't kill the Great Barrier Reef.

"This dangerous proposal will also cause massive amounts of climate pollution. It's as if the government has forgotten that more droughts, cyclones, heatwaves and floods will threaten  Queenslanders lives and livelihoods.

"A safe climate future is in renewables, not in burning dirty fuel.

"Queensland is in line for massive investment in large-scale solar, with costs already dropping by 40%. The majority of Australians support a transition to 100% renewable energy and it's just a matter of time before they get their hands on it.

"Our members and the majority of Australians who support clean air, clean water and clean energy will keep fighting Adani's monstrous mine.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 7 October 2016

Turnbull's unpopular position on renewables means more extreme weather, less investment in renewables and fewer local jobs: GetUp


2,896 GetUp members have today placed a full-page ad in the Australian Financial Review to highlight the unpopularity of Malcolm Turnbull's position of attacking renewable energy in the midst of an extreme weather event.

During the election, Malcolm Turnbull made a point of praising South Australia's renewable energy, and argued that it was part of Australia's innovative, post mining boom economy, crucial to "jobs and growth".

But since the election, Turnbull's gone on an Abbott-like rampage on renewable energy, even using an extreme weather event to attack the reliability of renewable energy.  

Turnbull's approval ratings have slumped to 33 per cent, while renewable energy remains hugely popular with 77 per cent support.

State and territory energy ministers will today meet to discuss the future of renewable energy in Australia, and after last week's attacks on the renewable energy industry, many people are concerned with direction the government will take.

Adam Black, Environmental Justice Campaigner for GetUp urged Malcolm Turnbull to act in line with the vast majority of Australians who want the government to invest in more renewable energy.

"Malcolm Turnbull has really disappointed a lot of people since coming to power. Satisfaction with the Prime Minister's performance has dropped to 33 per cent. He rolled Tony Abbott because of his poor performance with the public as well as his inability to prepare Australia's economy for the future.

"The reason Malcolm Turnbull has disappointed so many people is that he has promised more renewables and to be more innovative, but continued Abbott's war on renewables.

"If Turnbull wants to improve his popularity with the public, he needs to stop pandering to the coal interests and climate deniers that dominate his party, and back renewable energy, as he did during the election.

"States are pushing ahead with strong renewable energy targets because the Federal Government is failing to act on climate change, and because it's what voters want.

"Instead of exploiting a disaster to bash renewables, Prime Minister Turnbull should be trying to match or exceed the states' ambition with a federal target of 100% renewable energy by 2030.

"GetUp's Homegrown Power Plan even shows him how it can be done."

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 6 October 2016

Westpac the worst offender – must announce end to political donations


GetUp is calling on Westpac to announce an end to political donations when they appear before the Parliamentary Committee inquiry today.

Australia's big four banks are the most profitable in the world, according to research by the Australia Institute.

They're also some of the biggest and most reliable donors to the two major parties - funneling $5.4 million into political party coffers over the past 10 years. Westpac is the biggest offender, donating a total of $1.8 million in this period.

Economic fairness campaigns director Natalie O'Brien said, "NAB has shown strong leadership, announcing an end to all political donations in May this year, and ANZ is reviewing their donations too. But Westpac – the worst of the lot – has remained conspicuously silent.

"Westpac are trying to spin some tricky PR, claiming they've stopped cash donations. But they're funneling up to $180,000 a year to politicians by attending fundraisers and party forums.

"The Big Banks have donated five and half million bucks to the major parties over the last decade – it certainly begs the question, what has this money bought them?

"Lax government regulation has allowed the Big Banks to make epic profits while slugging everyday people with huge amounts in excessive fees and charges.

"The Big Banks insist their donations are to 'support our democratic processes'. If they're really interested in the integrity of our democracy they should keep their big-dollar donations out of politics.

"Australians need to feel confident that political decision-making that affects the nation isn't being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358

Media Release, 5 October 2016

ASIC workers warn of "risks to accountability, scrutiny and regulation" from database sell-off


Employees of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) are the latest group to mobilise against the privatisation of the ASIC corporate registry.

They have written a strongly-worded letter to the member for Gippsland, where the ASIC headquarters are found, calling on him to defend local jobs and stop the sell off.

The letter, signed by 'Employees of the ASIC Registry, Traralgon', reads: "While we have genuine fears about what selling the registry will mean for the wider Australian community, understandably we are also fearful of what it means for our future and those of our families."

It goes on: "We ask that you stand up for your local community, for your constituents and the wider Australian national interest and oppose this sell off. Please don't sell us out."

Delegates from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) will today deliver the letter, along with a 79,000-strong GetUp petition, to the office of Nationals MP Darren Chester.

GetUp Campaigns Director Natalie O'Brien said, "ASIC's very own employees – people who know the workings of the database better than anyone – are sounding the alarm on the dangers of this sell-off.

"ASIC employees join a long line of tax experts, investigative journalists and small business owners warning the government of the risks to corporate scrutiny.

"The ASIC registry is a critical piece of Australia's corporate transparency infrastructure, helping to identify and prosecute corporate tax dodgers, shady shell companies, and corruption.

"To put the registry under the control of a private operator is akin to putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.

"ASIC workers are backed by over 79,800 Australians who are not going to stand by and let the Turnbull Government pawn off our corporate database", she said.

According to statements from Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, the government is yet to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the sale of the ASIC registry.

Over 79,800 people have signed the petition to keep the ASIC registry in public hands: https://www.getup.org.au/asic

For more information call Kirsti Gorringe on 0431 047 358