The majority voted against a motion to amend the Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Bill 2011. The amendment was introduced by Liberal Party Senator Mathias Cormann.

Someone who voted Aye supported the amendment. The majority voted No, so the amendment was unsuccessful.

The amendment would have removed Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) nomination of board members for the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, which is created by the bill. Under the bill as it currently stands, the ACTU appoints all three of the directors who represent civilian employees.

Debate in Parliament

Liberal Senator Cormann asked “why should the union movement have 100 per cent of employee representative positions on the board to be created under this legislation when they represent only 41 per cent of public sector employees?”(See Senator Cormann's full contribution here. )

The Labor Government did not support the amendment. Labor Party Senator Nick Sherry argued that the arrangements in the bill for the nomination of board members reflects what was already happening and that these arrangements “overwhelmingly have worked well in the governance of our superannuation system”.(See Senator Sherry's full contribution here. ) Senator Sherry added that the amendment represents “typical ongoing abuse of the trade union movement”.

Background to the Bill

The Bill is part of a package of three bills.(More information about this bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the proposed amendment can be found here.) It creates the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation by merging the Australian Reward Investment Alliance, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Board and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority. The purpose of these changes is to modernise Australian Government superannuation and make it more consistent with the broader superannuation industry.


Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 5 No
Bob Brown Tasmania No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Scott Ludlam WA No
Christine Milne Tasmania No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Australian Labor Party (81% turnout) 0 Yes 25 No
Mark Arbib NSW No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Mark Bishop WA No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Trish Crossin NT No
Don Farrell SA No
John Faulkner NSW No
David Feeney Victoria No
Michael Forshaw NSW No
Mark Furner Queensland No
Annette Hurley SA No
Steve Hutchins NSW No
Kate Lundy ACT No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Anne McEwen SA No
Jan McLucas Queensland No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Louise Pratt WA No
Nick Sherry Tasmania No
Ursula Stephens NSW No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Dana Wortley SA No
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Chris Evans WA Absent
Joe Ludwig Queensland Absent
Kerry O'Brien Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
Alan Ferguson SA Deputy President Yes
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party No
Nick Xenophon SA Independent No
Liberal Party (83% turnout) 25 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
Judith Adams WA Yes
Christopher Back WA Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
Sue Boyce Queensland Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Helen Coonan NSW Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Mary Fisher SA Yes
Gary Humphries ACT Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Helen Kroger Victoria Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Brett Mason Queensland Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Judith Troeth Victoria Yes
Russell Trood Queensland Yes
Guy Barnett Tasmania Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Alan Eggleston WA Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
Nick Minchin SA Absent
National Party (80% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Ron Boswell Queensland Yes
Barnaby Joyce Queensland Yes
Julian McGauran Victoria Yes
John Williams NSW Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
John Hogg Queensland President No
Totals (84% turnout) 31 Yes – 33 No