Barnaby Joyce has joined growing calls for government’s Your Future, Your Super legislation to be amended, specifically targeting the ability for the Treasurer to weigh in on where funds invest.
Speaking in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the outspoken former Nationals leader said the government’s proposed reform is “not going without question”.
“I acknowledge, and so do other colleagues, that the discretion by a third party to determine, on their views, where things should be invested and where they shouldn’t, we have a real problem with,” Barnaby Joyce said.
“I favour a generic and clinical approach to investments, which is if the investment is legal and the investment is prudent and the investment makes money, then it is a good investment.
“But if you start saying, ‘Well, I don’t like coal, I don’t like gas, I’m not gonna support people who do fracking, I don’t like the live cattle trade’… then we’re in trouble.”
The ongoing debate around the legislation comes after total assets in the super sector soared to over $3.1 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2021.
“Superannuation is so powerful now,” Mr Joyce said.
“$3 trillion gives you immense power if you start moralising about where that $3 trillion goes.”
Shadow financial services minister Stephen Jones also slammed the bill during the session, saying: “If the failures and the faults in this bill are not remedied, it will wreck its stated purpose”.
“We cannot as a parliament let the opportunity pass to deliver better returns for millions of Australian workers who are counting on us,” Mr Jones said.
“We absolutely have to get this right.
“We are determined to get this right… our objective is to save this bill, not to sink it. But that will be on the government’s head.”
In just the last week alone, Super Consumers Australia, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and the Actuaries Institute have all criticised the reforms, with AIST and Actuaries Institute also issuing recommendations to Treasury.
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The government’s More Flexible Superannuation Bill passed through the Senate on Thursday with amendments put forward by One Nation. ...