Media Releases

Statement from Senator Andrew Bragg on Cath Bowtell (New Daily)

The comments by Ms Cath Bowtell in the Australian, Chair of The New Daily, are a virtual admissionof a breach of the sole purpose test.

Ms Bowtell seeks to validate the publication by claiming it “employs dozens of journalists” but failsto reveal it’s at the expense of Australian workers’ super savings.

The online publication is owned by Industry Super Holdings which ploughs money into the lossmaking propaganda arm under the guise that it’s a legitimate news organ.

But a letter obtained by the Hayne Royal Commission with the initial pitch for cash from IndustrySuper Australia revealed its true purpose.

It claimed The New Daily would be a biased news organisation and “would have a slight tilt towardsusing industry super spokespeople for quotes”.

It also promised that “the proposal (gives) industry superannuation funds a greater share of thevoice and positions funds as the trusted source of financial information”.

This is clearly a breach of the “sole purpose test” in Section 62 of the Superannuation Industry(Supervision) Act, which requires trustees to ensure that funds are maintained “solely for thepurpose of providing benefits to their members”.

The prudential regulator (APRA) is now investigating The New Daily as part of a review of howmembers’ money is being spent (wasted) by the industry.

Ms Bowtell claims the publication operates under an editorial charter of independence which isclearly and demonstrably untrue. The New Daily is used as a platform for the super funds to attacktheir critics. Most days, The New Daily attacks political opponents.

Super funds have already sunk at least $12 million of workers’ super into The New Daily boondoggle,a grotesque waste of superannuation guarantee contributions. The site was $2.8m in the red in2019-20.

I look forward to APRA’s investigation on this matter. Super is for workers, not politics.

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