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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 12813

Superannuation Funds

Mr FLETCHER (Bradfield) (14:54): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister that the former ALP national president, Mr Michael Williamson, was until recently a director of First State Super, appointed by Unions New South Wales. In the light of the concerns of Tom Parry, chairman of First State Super, that he had no power to remove Mr Williamson as a director, can the Prime Minister explain the government's reluctance to adopt the governance recommendations of the Cooper review to reform the system of union appointed directors of industry super funds?

Mr Albanese: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I am just wondering how this is within the authority of the national government. The question went to appointments by Unions New South Wales to a state based super scheme.

The SPEAKER: The first part of the question is not within the Prime Minister's prerogative. The last part of the question is.

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:56): I thank the member for his question. The member, in the last part of the question, referred to the Cooper review. We have been implementing various recommendations of the Cooper review as part of a major reform of superannuation. Members of the parliament would know how routinely superannuation legislation comes before the parliament, and the government has been working on a major agenda of change—things like the MySuper system and the other efficiency measures that have been there for the recipients of superannuation. We will continue working on the recommendations of the Cooper review. Of course, we want people who are guiding superannuation funds to be people of quality and people of integrity; we would all want that for people in superannuation funds. So, whether there is an issue arising because of someone's involvement in a business or whether there is an issue arising because of involvement in a union, of course we would want it properly dealt with.