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Tuesday, 25 March 1997
Page: 2355

Senator KEMP (Assistant Treasurer)(1.38 p.m.) —Senator, I sometimes wonder. We go through the arguments, we carefully ascertain the differences between RSAs and perhaps the public offer superannuation funds and how they can offer look-alike products, we discuss the issue of complying funds, and you get up and you say, `There are no reasons.'

Senator Lundy —You haven't put an argument.

Senator KEMP —Senator, for you to raise your voice to strongly assert what is blatantly absurd does not prove your point. It does not prove it at all. The Hansard will show that you relentlessly refuse to look at reasons which are offered to you. You stand up and—if you do not mind me paraphrasing—you say, `Well, you've got no reasons,' and then you throw your hands in the air. You might not like the reasons, Senator, you might not accept the reasons, but it is absurd to say that reasons have not been proffered on this.

There is an issue in relation to complying funds, which we have carefully gone through. I have to tell you that the amendment you are supporting will have legal problems. We have mentioned that, because superannuation funds are under a trust structure. We have met the substantive part of your argument that superannuation funds will be able to offer an RSA look-alike product. We have dealt with that issue. We have raised with you that all complying funds do raise other problems. We mentioned the number of complying funds and we mentioned in relation to that that this would lead to an absurdity. You might not like the reasons but I do not know what more we can do.

I notice you suddenly backflipped on the choice issue. I thought you were unusual amongst your colleagues in supporting choice. I notice that you were spoken to—probably by Senator Conroy who, I would have to say, is not the greatest choice man on superannuation—and that you have now corrected the Hansard record on that issue.

I put to the Senate that the substantive parts of the bill, the issues have been raised, are being fully addressed.

Senator Lundy —Your rhetoric, Senator Kemp, not ours.

Senator KEMP —It is an election promise, Senator.

Senator Conroy —That you are breaking.

Senator KEMP —We're breaking an election promise! We will see how these amendments go through. Senator, I think that we have addressed your concerns and you throwing your hands in the air and raising your voice does not alter that one jot.