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Thursday, 14 May 1987
Page: 3247


Mr BARRY JONES (Minister for Science)(5.12) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to create the office of Insurance and Superannuation Commissioner. As I have already outlined, this Bill, together with the Occupational Superannuation Standards Bill 1987, and the Insurance and Superannuation Commissioner (Consequential Provisions) Bill 1987 are designed to establish an Insurance and Superannuation Commission which would bring together in one organisation the Commonwealth's Regulatory and other functions in the insurance, superannuation and actuarial areas. The statutory responsibilities of the Commission would be centred in the new single statutory office of Insurance and Superannuation Commissioner.

The Bill provides for the appointment by the Governor-General of a person as Insurance and Superannuation Commissioner for a period not exceeding seven years. The person appointed is not to hold office beyond the age of 65 and is to be paid remuneration as determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. The Bill contains provisions to guard against conflict of interest. It proscribes the appointment of a person who is a trustee of a superannuation fund or approved deposit fund, and of a person who is a director or employee of a body that carries on insurance of life insurance business or is itself a trustee of a superannuation fund or approved deposit fund. The Bill also requires the Commissioner to disclose in writing to the Minister any pecuniary interest he may have in insurance business or life insurance business, a superannuation fund or approved deposit fund, as well as any other business.

The Bill also provides for termination of the appointment of the Commissioner by the Governor-General under certain conditions and for the appointment of a person as Acting Commissioner for up to 12 months during a vacancy in the office or when the Commissioner is absent or cannot perform his duties. Finally, the Bill provides for the appointment of staff under the Public Service Act to assist the Commissioner to perform the functions of the position and confers on the Commissioner the powers of the secretary to a department as provided under the Public Service Act 1922. I commend the Bill to the House and present the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Mr Downer) adjourned.