Senate debates

Wednesday, 16 June 2021


Treasury Laws Amendment (More Flexible Superannuation) Bill 2020, Treasury Laws Amendment (Self Managed Superannuation Funds) Bill 2020, Treasury Laws Amendment (Your Future, Your Super) Bill 2021; Second Reading

8:11 pm

Photo of Murray WattMurray Watt (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Northern Australia) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you, Madam Deputy President Fierravanti-Wells. In my remaining remarks I want to focus on what Senator Hanson is up to in this debate and in this bill. Let's remember that it was Senator Hanson who provided the votes to this government only an hour or two ago to rush this legislation through and make sure that we dealt with it tonight when the program didn't have that happening. Why is Senator Hanson in such a rush to get this legislation dealt with that it has to be dealt with in a late-night sitting of the Senate tonight? What on earth could Senator Hanson be so interested in about this legislation? Let's have a look.

What we see here from Senator Hanson through this debate and through an amendment she's moving is probably the biggest personal rort I have ever seen in federal politics. That's what we're seeing in this legislation and in the amendment that Senator Hanson is moving. A lot of people haven't noticed this yet because it was just snuck in late today. Senator Hanson, on behalf of Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party, is moving amendment No. 8983. You actually have to understand a little about superannuation to understand exactly what Senator Hanson is trying to do with this amendment. It's all worded in very technical language about concessional contributions caps, dollar figures, years and things like that. But let's be very clear about what Senator Hanson is trying to do by moving this amendment right here. What Senator Hanson is trying to do by moving this amendment is to give herself a $30,000 pay rise over the next six years that she hopes to be in this parliament. That's right—$30,000 will go to Senator Hanson if this amendment that she has moved gets through.

Why does it only affect Senator Hanson? Because she has drafted this in a way that only benefits her and a very small number of other people in this chamber—or, in fact, in this country. This amendment will basically change the concessional rate of superannuation only for high-income earners—only for people who earn roughly $250,000 a year or thereabouts. What kinds of people in this country earn $250,000 a year or so? Oh, it might be senators! We happen to be very well-paid people, and Senator Hanson is one of those people. So this won't benefit a single battler in Queensland, who she says—the fraud that she is—that she's in Canberra to defend. It won't benefit anyone in Mundubbera, it won't benefit anyone in Gayndah, it won't benefit anyone in Eidsvold and it won't benefit anyone in Toowoomba or anywhere else in regional Queensland who is struggling to get ahead with no wage rises year after year. But, my golly, it's going to benefit Senator Hanson. Senator Hanson is going to get a $30,000 pay rise as a result of an amendment that she is moving. She put this to the government. This isn't some government engineered plan; this is something that has Senator Hanson's name on it because she wants the $30,000 pay rise.

As I said, the way it's going to be done is by changing the superannuation concessional contributions regime in a way that only benefits high-income earners. So she has herself in there, in the first instance, by being a high-income earner, but it gets better—it gets better! This benefit, this pay rise, will only be given to people who are aged 67 or over. Now why would you pick that year? Why would it be 67 and not 66, not 65, not 64, not 69, not 70 and not 71? Why would it be 67? Well, who knew? How old is Senator Hanson? She's 67! How about that! So Senator Hanson is moving an amendment to give high-income earners like her a $30,000 pay rise over the six-year term that she would serve in this parliament—but only if they're 67.

Now, I might look pretty old but I'm not 67. There aren't many people in here who are 67, but Senator Hanson is 67 and the beauty of this amendment which she's trying to move is that she won't only get a pay rise for one year she'll get it the next year and the one after that, the one after that and the one after that. In the first year she'll get a $1,500 pay rise; in the second year she'll get a $3,000 pay rise; in the third year, $4½ thousand; in the fourth year, $6,000; in the fifth year, $7½ thousand; and, again, $7½ thousand in year 6. All up, over six years, Senator Hanson stands to gain a $30,000 pay rise that won't apply to anyone who is under 67. But it just so happens that people who are 67 or older—maybe like Senator Hanson—will get a $30,000 pay rise.

I don't know about Senator Polley, I don't know about Senator Sterle, I don't know about Senator Urquhart and, to be fair, I don't know about members in the Liberal and National parties, but I did not get elected to come down and serve the battlers of Queensland by giving myself a pay rise. But it's very clear that that's why Senator Hanson is here. I've had a gutful of Senator Hanson running around Central Queensland and regional Queensland saying that she's for the battlers and then coming down here and, time after time, voting against battlers and voting to make it harder for coalminers who are working as labour hire as casuals. And now she's giving herself a nice $30,000 pay rise. That's not why I got elected, that's not why any Labor senator got elected and I doubt that's why many people from other parties got elected. But it is certainly why Senator Hanson got herself elected.

People have known for a long time that, when Senator Hanson says that she comes to Canberra to help battlers, what she really means is she comes here to help herself. We have seen over the years—and this goes back to her days well before I was in this chamber—that Senator Hanson invented and got the practice of rorting electoral funds down to an art form. Now what she is doing with this amendment is trying to rort taxpayers' funds for own personal benefit, to give her a pay rise. It is a disgrace. Senator Hanson should be ashamed of what she is doing. Senator Hanson should apologise to every single battler in Queensland who she has tricked into thinking she is here for them when she is actually here to give herself a nice big pay rise. No other member of this chamber would treat battlers or Australians with such contempt. Senator Hanson has finally been caught out doing what many of us have known she has been about for a very long time.

The worst part is that this is all part of a dodgy deal that Senator Hanson has done with the government to get this legislation through. Senator Hanson, as I say, is the coalition's best friend here in Canberra. She lines up with them time and time again. They can always count on her vote, no matter what they want to do, whether they are coming after pensioners, workers or penalty rates. And now she will vote to give herself another big pay rise. This is yet another dodgy deal between the Liberal-National government and Pauline Hanson to rush legislation through and, this time, to give Pauline Hanson a personal pay rise of $30,000. It is a disgrace. Senator Hanson should be ashamed of herself. Senator Roberts should be ashamed of himself. If any government senator votes with Senator Hanson on this amendment, they should be ashamed of themselves as well. Those of us from Queensland should go back home and justify to Queensland battlers why they are voting to give Senator Pauline Hanson a $30,000 pay rise. It is a disgrace.


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