Statements by Senators – Superannuation, 5 September 2022

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (13:48): I rise today to speak of some flattering news. It turns out that the Labor Party has decided to copy the United Australia Party policy of bringing Australian super back home. This policy was one of many that we took to the election. Another one was lifting the ban on nuclear power, and I’m proud to say that the Liberal Party, my good friends over here to my right, have taken that one and they’ve run with it.

Now I’m very flattered that the Labor Party wants to adopt our policy that was designed as a win/win for Australian super and the Australian people. Our policy would see Australian super funds incentivised to invest Australian super right here at home for nation-building projects that would benefit all Australians. At the moment, too much of our super is invested overseas, building the economies of Europe, America and others. Now super funds have around $3.5 trillion that could easily be used to grow our industries right here so that, at the and of the day, we don’t need to rely on foreign capital to build our country. As always, the devil will be in the detail, and we need to make sure these funds are steered towards nation building.

When I saw that the Labor Party had copied our policy, I smiled. The Treasurer was obviously paying close attention to our policies during the election campaign. In the political realm, when one political party steals another political party’s policy, it should be taken as a compliment; after all, politicians will come and go, but good ideas will last forever. I do see the positive side because, at the end of the day, this policy, if it’s done right, will benefit all Australians and it will help secure our economic prosperity and maintain our nation’s independence. It is a clear form of political plagiarism. The UAP obviously have got the best ideas for growing Australia—after all, imitation is a sincere form of flattery—but plagiarism can be seen as theft. The difference between plagiarism and theft is acknowledgement. (Time expired)