Monday, 3 June 2013
I thank both the member for Bradfield and the member for Corangamite for their contributions. I thank the member for Bradfield and I know that he has had an ongoing interest in. I make the point that the questions that he asks go to a range of considerations, some of which relate to the prosecution and enforcement activities of some of our key regulators. They not just matters of interest to government but also are matters that can be scrutinised through other parliamentary committees. I know that the member does take advantage of those opportunities to press the respective regulators about their approaches to these matters. I would like to make the point that the government continues to remain sympathetic to those who have lost money as part of this process. It has been a regrettable situation, obviously—and that would perhaps be an understatement in relation to the Trio collapse. We have listened very carefully to the victims, and as a result of that listening we have also been acting, not only in terms of approaches to compensation but also in relation to regulatory reform that is required. In this budget, just to reinforce this point, an additional $15.1 million has been made available to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. We recognise the complex nature of investigations of the nature involved here; these are not simple or straightforward matters, but there is a degree of independence and autonomy that our regulators are afforded in order to ensure that our laws are pursued in a robust fashion but also in a fashion that can be said to be above the day-to-day politics of whatever might be occurring for any particular government. So I encourage the member to continue doing what he has done in the past, and that is to raise these matters with the respective regulators. I know that that is a matter which he has certainly been very active in pursuing in the past.
In relation to the member for Corangamite, I thank him for his question, because he points to the strong record of this government in relation to superannuation but also to the horrifying prospect of what we might face if there were to be a change of government. This government—Labor—created superannuation, and at the time the Leader of the Opposition said it was the biggest con job ever foisted on the Australian people. I know he has had a change of heart on a whole range of things in recent times; in fact, I saw an article that he wrote in the paper recently where he was sort of airbrushing out some things that he had said in his most recent tome, which is the Battlelines book. But when it comes to superannuation, nothing has changed. In the same way as when the coalition came into office in 1996—and the member for Mayo will remember this well—after making repeated commitments about how they would proceed with the Keating government's commitments to increase compulsory superannuation, they got in and they chopped it off and they halted it where it was. The member for Mayo might want to contribute to the debate by advising the House of how many increases in compulsory superannuation there were throughout the 11½ years of the Howard government. In fact, to save him the trouble, I will answer the question and make the point that there were none. The coalition have always opposed increases in superannuation. For all the rhetoric that we have heard in recent times about the coalition's concern about the government raiding superannuation, the member for Mayo might like to point out whether or not the reforms that we have proposed will be abandoned if the opposition were to get into office.
Mr Briggs interjecting—
No, no, the reforms in relation to—