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Notice given 24 August 2012

2119  Senator Bushby: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—

(1) With reference to the Australian Bureau of Statistics superannuation data for the 2011 December quarter, can an explanation be provided as to why contributions fell by 2.5 per cent, despite positive economic growth.

(2) What changes have occurred in consumer behaviour regarding salary sacrifice contributions following the decisions to substantially lower maximum superannuation contribution limits and to introduce a modified superannuation surcharge, and: (a) how will this impact on the growth of national superannuation assets; (b) is this trend likely to continue in coming quarters; and (c) what are the anticipated impacts on Government superannuation tax collection.

(3) Can a list be provided of the bills relating to the provision of financial advice and/or superannuation that are currently before the Parliament, or are likely to be introduced during 2012.

(4) Is there a crisis of confidence in superannuation as a result of excessive legislative intervention or the withdrawal of taxation incentives; if so, what measures are being taken to revitalise confidence in superannuation as the principal long-term savings vehicle.

 

 (5) What interactions have taken place between the department, the Australian Taxation Office and industry groups, such as the Australian Institution of Superannuation Trustees, the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia, the Financial Services Council, the Financial Planning Association of Australia, Association of Financial Advisors and the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia Limited, to counter the prospect of flagging superannuation contributions.

(6) Can the Minister confirm that there will be no additional adverse tax measures in the 2013-14 Budget, and that there are no existing projects of this kind.

2120  Senator Bushby: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—With reference to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, detailed separately, can the following information be provided:

(a) what induction processes are offered to newly appointed staff and commissioners;

(b) are any training programs offered; if so, is attendance mandatory;

(c) do the programs and courses include segments on the organisation’s powers, responsibilities and protocols, including its role as a regulator working under a statute establishing its powers and procedure; if so, can details be provided; and

(d) does training include segments on the separation of powers and the accountability of regulators to Parliament; if so, can details be provided.

2121  Senator Bushby: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—

(1) What is the current Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) policy and practice in regard to unit pricing errors.

(2) What percentage of funds regulated by APRA comply with the current unit pricing policy.

(3) How many funds are currently under investigation by APRA in relation to unit pricing errors.

(4) Did APRA become aware of such errors through material reporting, consumer complaints or an APRA audit, and in each instance, what was the source of the information.

(5) Is there a need for legislative reform to address unit pricing deficiencies.

(6) Since 2006, how many enforceable undertakings have been issued by APRA to retail and employer-sponsored funds, and for instances where enforceable undertakings were not issued, what regulatory action was taken.

(7) To ensure ‘no detriment’ to superannuation fund members, what has been the source of funding to compensate those who have lost funds as a result of unit pricing errors, for example: access to shareholder funds; use of fund reserves; or retrieval of moneys from members who have been beneficiaries of errors.

 

 2122  Senator Waters: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—With reference to projections of dredging, spoil dumping and shipping within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area:

(1) (a) To date, what is the total quantity of dredging that has been approved, or applied for, within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area since 16 July 2000; and (b) for each dredging operation, can a breakdown be provided detailing: (i) with which development the dredging is associated, (ii) the location and quantities of dredge spoil involved, (iii) the timeframes for dredging activity, and (iv) whether the figures include maintenance dredging.

(2) (a) To date, what is the total quantity of dredge spoil that has been approved, or applied for, to be dumped offshore within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, since 16 July 2000; and (b) for each dredging operation, can a breakdown be provided detailing: (i) with which development the dumping is associated, (ii) the location and quantities of dredge spoil involved, (iii) the timeframes for dumping, and (iv) whether the figures include any dumping associated with maintenance dredging.

(3) (a) What are the current and projected levels of non-recreational shipping transiting, with or without docking, through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area; and (b) can a breakdown of these figures be provided, including the: (i) industries, (ii) commodities, and (iii) ports or port developments with which the current and projected shipping levels are associated.