Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Bills

Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Bill 2011, ComSuper Bill 2011, Superannuation Legislation (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011; In Committee

1:45 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

I will not hold up the Senate for long, but I have a couple of points. The two-thirds requirement the minister talks about is easily met by having a revised quorum of eight rather than nine, because eight out of 10 is still well in excess of the two-thirds requirement. In terms of terminating members on the board, one of the key concerns we have is that the minister for finance is not able, for example, to terminate directors that are nominated by the president of the ACTU under this legislation on the basis that she would be able to terminate employer appointed directors. That is one of the areas of concern we have.

In terms of not being subject to directions, allow me to be sceptical. There are obviously different ways of skinning a cat. I do not think it is conceivable and I do not think that anybody across Australia would believe that ACTU president nominated directors on this board will not be subject to the influence, dare I say, the direction, of the president of the ACTU. These are obviously all very opaque processes. I am sure that this will not be happening on the front pages of newspapers. It will happen behind closed doors and it will be very hard for the public at large, or indeed the Senate, to scrutinise whether these sorts of processes are happening appropriately. We think that this is a very sensible amendment. We think that it is an amendment that will assist to make the board of this newly created organisation more workable. We commend this amendment to the Senate.

Question put:

That the amendments (Senator Cormann's) be agreed to.

The committee divided. [13:57]

(The Chairman—Senator Ferguson)

Question negatived.

Bills agreed to.

Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Bill 2011, ComSuper Bill 2011 and Superannuation Legislation (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011 reported without amendments; report adopted.

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