At Senate Estimates, I am again pursuing the matter of the “New Daily” newspaper wasting almost $30 million in Superannuation Guarantee contributions.
This is the subject of a new inquiry by the prudential regulator APRA following revelations that AustralianSuper simply gave their member data away to the New Daily.
The so-called news organisation was set up to be biased. A letter obtained by the Hayne Royal Commission with the initial pitch for cash from Industry Super Australia was revealing. It claimed The New Daily would “have a slight tilt towards using industry super spokespeople for quotes”.
The outlet does not have editorial independence which means it is ineligible for the media bargaining code. This week the organisation has been forced to apologise and pay damages to my outstanding colleague Senator the Hon Jane Hume.
In response to complaints, AustralianSuper says their money in the New Daily is not an investment, but an expense. Yet other funds have treated it as an investment. I am concerned about the New Daily propaganda money can get through the sole purpose test and financial interests duties applicable to super funds.
There are fresh questions for APRA and ASIC which sets out prudential concerns as well as consumer protection issues.
APRA has been asked how the prudential data security of members can be so easily breached. The broader question for APRA is how does this wasteful behaviour continue on their watch? Who meets the legal expenses of the New Daily when they are forced to settle with people like Senator Hume?
On the giant data giveaway, what evidence is supplied to convince APRA that giving away members data for free to a third party is in members best interests? The New Daily is already free, and members have chosen not to sign up so why is this happening?
Finally, ASIC will be asked how they will protect consumers from super funds just giving away their data. Who gets the next round of data? Big tobacco?
Media: John Mangos 0401 392 624