House debates

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Bills

Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Bill 2011; Consideration in Detail

1:21 pm

Photo of Warren SnowdonWarren Snowdon (Lingiari, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel) Share this | Hansard source

I will not detain us for long. I just want to record the fact that, obviously, we will not be supporting these amendments and, more importantly, go over the conditions which are precedent to this. I have already outlined the Superannuation Act 1990 and noted that the existing arrangements provided for a similar appointment process to occur, without the issue being addressed when the coalition was in government. This process existed. The deed which sets out the requirements was also revised for various reasons and reregistered on ComLaw eight times under the coalition without any interference or questions raised about the board representation. Furthermore, the APRA superannuation trustee arrangements for superannuation funds other than public offer funds includes, for the purpose of the basic equal representation rule, 'member representative means a person nominated by members of the fund or by an organisation representing their interests, such as a trade union'. That is, it is appropriate for a union to nominate member representatives for a trustee board, particularly when representing a workforce as large and diverse as the APS. There is no other mechanism to nominate or elect employee board members that will not have significant cost implications other than going through the ACTU and allowing them to appoint employee members. The APS spans over 160,000 employees and a stand-alone appointment process for the appointment of board representation of the type being described by the opposition would in fact be very unrealistic and indeed too costly. I say to opposition members that running a scare campaign on the role of the ACTU on these boards is largely irrelevant. It is really irrelevant to the due process. We know that these people will operate responsibly, you know they will operate responsibly; let us just get on with it.

Question put:

That the amendments (Mr Robert's) be agreed to.

The House divided. [13:27]

(The Speaker—Mr Harry Jenkins)

Question negatived.

Bill agreed to.

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