The majority voted against a motion to amend the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Service Providers and Other Governance Measures) Bill 2013.(The text of the proposed amendment can be found here. )

The amendment was introduced by Liberal Party Senator Mathias Cormann to address concerns that the Opposition held about the absence of independent directors on industry superannuation fund boards.

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

Debate in Parliament

Liberal Senator Cormann argued that the amendment was based on a recommendation made by the Cooper Review into superannuation,(According to the media, the Cooper review recommended "sweeping changes". ) which was that at least one third of directors on industry superannuation fund boards should be independent directors. This would replace the current equal representation model, which Senator Cormann described as a “cosy arrangement with union representatives in charge and employer representatives making up the numbers”.(Read Senator Cormann's contribution here. ) He said that independent directors were important because they are not limited by union or employer interests and so can offer a dispassionate view. The Opposition accused the Government of not following this Cooper Review recommendation because of pressure from the union movement.

The Labor Government did not comment on this amendment.

Background to the Bill

The Bill is the fourth and final legislative bundle implementing the Stronger Super reforms announced by the Labor Government in 2010.(More information about this Bill and the context surrounding it can be found here.) It introduces a number of corporate governance measures that arose out of the Review into the Governance, Efficiency, Structure and Operation of Australia’s Superannuation System (known as the Cooper Review) and the Government’s own consultations with industry, employer and consumer groups.


Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 9 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Scott Ludlam WA No
Christine Milne Tasmania No
Lee Rhiannon NSW No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Penny Wright SA No
Australian Labor Party (87% turnout) 0 Yes 26 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Mark Bishop WA No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Trish Crossin NT No
Don Farrell SA No
John Faulkner NSW No
David Feeney Victoria No
Mark Furner Queensland No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Sue Lines WA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland 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
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Ursula Stephens NSW No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Lin Thorp Tasmania No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Penny Wong SA No
Bob Carr NSW Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Kate Lundy ACT Absent
Matt Thistlethwaite NSW Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
John Madigan Victoria Democratic Labor Party Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania Deputy President Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
Liberal Party (89% turnout) 24 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania 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
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Sean Edwards SA Yes
Alan Eggleston WA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Gary Humphries ACT Yes
Helen Kroger Victoria Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Brett Mason Queensland Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
David Johnston WA Absent
National Party (80% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Barnaby Joyce Queensland Yes
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Yes
John Williams NSW Yes
Ron Boswell Queensland Absent
John Hogg Queensland President No
Totals (89% turnout) 32 Yes – 36 No