Tuesday, 6 September 2022
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Senator Gallagher. Does the minister know of any Treasury portfolio precedent for removing transparency on payments through aggregation as has been delivered for the superannuation industry and trade unions in regulations released last Friday?
I would have to take on notice the precedent question that you asked, because I want to make sure that all my answers here are accurate, and I'm sorry, but I don't have all of that dating back to 1901, where your question leads me to. So, I would want to have a look at that.
I would also say that the regulations tabled by the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services had I think responded to some of the concerns that had been raised around transparency in this place from the draft regulations to ensure that those questions around transparency could be dealt with. I'm sure the Senate will have more to say on this as it debates these regulations, but I think the Assistant Treasurer responded to some of the concerns and that data will be provided. But, as you know—and I think I've heard it from you guys plenty of times over the years—making sure that reporting is transparent but is also efficient and effective is equally important.
Can the minister confirm that payments from super funds to unions could rise from $12.9 million in 2021-22 to $35 million in 2030? Can the minister further confirm that the details of these payments will now be hidden from super fund members?
I thank Senator Smith for the supplementary question. I'm not sure where those numbers are coming from, so I would want to check on those before going to the specifics. Look, we know you're opposed to super. We know you can't stand industry funds. We know you don't like unions. You don't like unions, you don't like industry funds, you don't like super. You can't bear it. The regulations will allow transparent reporting of information, streamlining some of the requirements. They will still be required to do a whole range of reporting.
I know you're obsessed with the fact you think that industry super funds make political donations, which is where this is going. They've been asked about that. They say they don't. We've asked the independent regulator, APRA, who have been poring over this issue. They have not found anything. So let's debate it. I'm sure we will have the opportunity to debate this when the regs come before the Senate.
The Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services justified the recently updated regulations on superannuation annual members' meeting notices by claiming that the previous disclosure rules were too onerous on funds. What is the estimated cost saving the industry may be able to benefit from as a result of these new measures?
I will take that part of the question on notice as well and will come back to the chamber, if I can provide further information. I would say that under the draft regulations—which, no doubt, this Senate will debate—funds will still be required to provide written notice to members which detail fund performance, their outcomes for the period, the total payments they make to industrial bodies, marketing and advocacy. If I can provide further information around this—notwithstanding the fact that we acknowledge the opposition are opposed to superannuation, really. If you were able to say it, you would.
Senator Rennick just said it was evil! You just said it was evil. We know what you're on about. You're obsessed with industry funds. You're obsessed with super. You're obsessed with working people actually having a decent retirement.