9 March 2020
The Senate Economics Committee, hearing evidence on The Your Super, Your Choice Bill, heard the clearest argument for choice by Labor Senator Tony Sheldon in Sydney today.
Senator Sheldon, a former Transport Workers Union official told the hearing he exercised his own choice as a Senator in deciding where he keeps his superannuation.
But this is in direct contrast to the position of the Senator and TWU Super, who made it clear they want transport workers to be locked in to TWU Super, thereby depriving members of choice.
"Unions and Co. want to deny one million Australians the right to choose their own fund," Committee Acting Chair Senator Andrew Bragg said.
Senator Bragg said: "Parliamentary colleagues can all choose our own super fund - so should all Australian workers."
"Senator Sheldon has turned up to ask questions and proudly says he is exercising choice to contribute to TWU Super as a Member of Parliament," Senator Bragg said.
"This is the same right that he and the TWU want to deny its own members! Now that is very unfair."
The Government's Your Super, Your Choice Bill prohibits enterprise agreement conditions that lock workers into using union-backed super funds, regardless of whether workers already have a fund. It guarantees one million workers choice of fund rights.
The position of the unions and industry funds to oppose the reform was immediately challenged by Senator Bragg.
"This is about people being bound to be in a fund they don't want to be in," he said.
'It's about performance. If I'm a young truck driver why should I be banned from going to CBus or a fund that performs better? Let the people choose."
Earlier, the ACTU backed the TWU position and advocated collective mandate over individual choice.
Senator Bragg noted TWU Super is one of the loudest interests arguing for the status quo.
"TWU Super seems scared of competition," Senator Bragg said.
The hearings continue.
Media: John Mangos | 0401 392 624