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Thursday, 13 February 2020
Page: 1007

Senator GREEN (Queensland) (13:57): Why would this government introduce a bill that gives dodgy employers who may have stolen super for the last 26 years an amnesty? Maybe it's because members of this government don't support superannuation at all. We know that during his first speech Senator Bragg said super should be voluntary. He was a little gun-shy the other night in his speech on the second reading, but that is what he said in his first speech. Someone who wasn't as gun-shy was Senator Rennick, the LNP senator from my home state of Queensland. In his second reading debate speech he said:

Of all the rorts that exist in this country, nothing compares to superannuation … At the end of the day, super isn't working … At the very least, superannuation should be voluntary, not compulsory. This is a view that I'll be putting to my colleagues …

He concluded that he had conducted internal polling showing there was support for his push among coalition senators and MPs. The move threatens to open up another front of backbench discontent, with a handful of Senator Rennick's colleagues supporting abandoning legislation on the increase of compulsory superannuation from 9.5 to 12 per cent.

'At the end of the day, super isn't working.' That's what Senator Rennick said. They don't support superannuation. That's why they're bringing in a bill to give people who've underpaid super a 26-year amnesty. Right now we know that nearly one in three Australians are missing out on the superannuation they—

Government senators interjecting

Senator GREEN: You know, just because you keep saying the word 'worker' over and over again, it doesn't mean you actually support them. You can get out there and you can put your shiny new high-vis on, but I can tell you that doesn't mean anything. Right now nearly one in three Australians are missing out on the superannuation that they are entitled to. Superannuation is part of every Australian worker's pay and conditions, and every worker deserves to receive the superannuation that they are entitled to at the time that they are entitled to receive it, not 26 years later.

Unpaid superannuation is a massive problem in this country. Industry Super Australia has previously estimated that 2.4 million workers are losing $5.6 billion each year. A report by Industry Super Australia reveals the people most likely to have their super stolen are under 35, working in blue-collar jobs and earning less than $30,000 per year. You know what that sounds like to me? A worker. These are the people that you are not supporting through this legislation. These workers are—

The PRESIDENT: Order, Senator Green! You will be in continuation when debate resumes.