Australian politics live: Morrison still in isolation as parliament returns for final 2020 sitting

Australia’s richest vested interests, the superannuation funds have established a newspaper with at least $12m of workers’ money.

This newspaper, the New Daily, is now being used to attack critics of superannuation and political opponents.

This week, the commercial deal between the New Daily and the ABC will be known to the Senate following my questions to Mr David Anderson last month at Senate estimates.

I hope this deal will not cause any perception of conflict in the ABC’s coverage of our plan to reform super.

This is truly a remarkable development in the history of Australian media. A media company is now wasting workers’ compulsory savings on political attacks.

The complacency and largesse is there for people to see. Super seems to think it is a state within a state.

It shows the contempt that the super funds have for the “sole purpose test” which requires a fiduciary style duty by super trustees to safeguard members’ savings.

The New Daily entity is on very shaky legal ground. The prudential regulator APRA confirmed to me at Senate estimates that some funds treated it as an expense, others as an investment.

There is no better example for why changes to strengthen the fiduciary duty in super are necessary.

Last week, draft legislation was released which will stop this sort of waste.

APRA will have to improve its performance as a regulator. Failing to bring a single action to enforce the sole purpose test in the 30 years of compulsory super is a shocking indictment on APRA.

Our reforms are designed to improve the whole system’s performance. The Hayne royal commission showed the retail funds regularly preferred shareholder interests ahead of members. During the Covid crisis, industry funds have wasted money on television advertising with Mr Greg Combet’s
face on it.

Both should be breaches of the law. These are powerful vested interests who control 10% of workers’ money.

I urge people to look at the motives of anyone defending the super status quo. Even the scheme’s father, Paul Keating, accepts superannuation can be improved.