Freezing Superannuation

 There we have it. If we need any illustration of where the Liberal Party stands on superannuation, that speech tells us. They are not the party of superannuation. They want to condemn Australian workers and young people today to a retirement in poverty. That is what they want. Superannuation is the vehicle to a retirement of security, to a retirement where people who have worked all their lives can look forward to something at the end of their working lives and not have to beg and scrape like they would under these people opposite. The member for Goldstein comes to this Chamber and makes out he's the workers' best friend. All it needed was him in a hi-vis vest and hard hat to complete the charade! He makes out he's the workers' best friend. He's the same bloke who was very happy to see penalty rates cut for young people just last year and the year before. If he wants to see young people get ahead in life, stop cutting their penalty rates. That would be a start.

Labor is the party of superannuation. Labor built superannuation and we are proud of it. Superannuation works. It works on the magic of compound interest. You need to start saving early in life. The longer you save the more you will have saved at the end of your life. What those opposite are doing is raiding super now. We've seen this happen throughout the last few months. So many Australians have raided their super—some of them because that's all the government would let them have, in terms of assisting them to get by. They've raided their super and have got zero dollars in their accounts. They have to start all over again. The $20,000 they are getting this year and next year is going to cost them $100,000 by the time they get to retirement. They will have to go onto the aged pension. Some of them will have to sell their homes, which those opposite say are so important, to get by. Superannuation works by compound interest. We know those opposite support superannuation, because all their friends in big business and corporate Australia and senior levels of the Public Service have been enjoying the benefits of superannuation for decades. What they don't like is the fact that Labor came along in the eighties and nineties and said, 'How about we extend the benefit of superannuation to all workers, not just the privileged few?' That is what they don't like. They don't like the fact that Australian workers—ordinary workers, bank workers, supermarket workers and tradies—have all got access to superannuation. They don't like it.

Superannuation is the path to a retirement of prosperity and comfort, and Labor are determined to protect it. What we've seen in the last few months is that one in seven Tasmanians have taken around $587 million from their superannuation accounts as a result of the changes those opposite brought. I'm not laying one iota of blame or responsibility on the people who have accessed their super. I know a lot of people are doing it very tough at this point in time and they saw that $10,000 that they were given access to as a lifeline. The reason it's a lifeline is that those opposite have failed so miserably in providing for people in what is a shared global pandemic, a shared disaster. They've said, 'You're on your own. If you want to keep going over the next few months, raid your own super, raid your own retirement savings. That's what you need to do.' The reason people have had to access the $10,000 is that there was nothing else for them. I don't blame people for making use of the super that was made available to them, but the costs are going to be borne in the decades and generations to come. Ten thousand of those accounts in Tasmania have been drained to a zero balance. They have to start again. By and large, these are workers on lower incomes and a lot of them are women. We know that women, throughout their working lives, have a more fractious relationship with super. They will retire with a lot less and will be dependent on the aged pension for much longer in life. These are all the things we have been trying to avoid over the last few decades.

Superannuation is a success story in this country. It's a massive reserve of capital. What I took great exception to was the member for Goldstein calling this laundering. It is the superannuation holders who are the beneficiaries of superannuation. They put money in and they get money out at their retirement and have a retirement of comfort. We are the party of superannuation and we are damn proud of it.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Goodenough ): The time allotted for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.