Robert O'Brien, Independent Candidate for Wannon.

"Lets make election day Independents Day"

O'Brien pushes for people's bank
From the Warrnambool Standard, Friday,20th July, 2001


THE establishment of a people's bank run by the Federal Government is the main platform independent candidate for Wannon Robert O'Brien will campaign on in this year's election.

The 32-year-old Allansford resident yesterday launched his campaign outside the Warrnambool branch of the Commonwealth Bank in Liebig Street.

“I want to see the return of a people's bank in line with King O'Malley's original concept, overcoming the complexity of modern finance, with benefits for the people,” said Mr O'Brien, who has previously stood as an independent for both state and federal elections.

“When the Commonwealth Bank was originally conceived in the mind of former American banker and member for parliament, King O'Malley, it was as a bank able to lend to the government and the people alike at low interest,” he said.

Mr O'Brien said the Commonwealth Bank as initially intended was “lost” in 1924 when its operations were taken away from the governor and handed to a board of directors.

“The new people's bank can be set up and running within two years and with an educated population to ensure that this bank remains true to the ideas of King O'Malley, the private banks will have to become fair and honest or face elimination,” he said.

“I don't see that there is any real need for interest rates and the only fee would be a two per cent bookkeeping fee.”

Yesterday, he distributed handbills titled The Truth About Banks outlining “the history of money and how banks create money”.

“The interest on loans is the cause of inflation and should be replaced with a simple bookkeeping fee of two per cent.

Mr O"Brien said in past centuries when money was lent at exhorbitant interest rates, termed usury, it was punishable by death.

He claimed that the interest rates that people were paying to day were higher that what they needed to be.

The former desktop editor of Port Fairy's Moyne Gazette said other main issues were health, particularly examination of food additives, overhauling Australia's current taxation system, replacement of multinational investment with increased local business development, and alternative energy source development.