Robyn McLeod - through the AWU days with Bruce to a Ministerial Adviser spot
South Australia's Independent Commissioner against Corruption starts work on 1 September, 2013

A few points about Superannuation Trustee Companies in the 1990s

If you were involved in the AWU/Thiess/Melbourne Water or associated industries in the 1990s, did you know that Bruce Wilson or Robyn McLeod were directors of the board of the Thiess superannuation company from around 5 October 1993 to around 25 October 1995?

I have spoken with an AWU President at the time who did not know, a National Secretary of the AWU who did not know, industrial lawyers from the time who did not know - in fact I've not spoken to anyone who knew.

Superannuation laws were starting to change in the financial year 94/95 to require employee/employer equal representation on Superannuation Trustee company boards.

Here's an expert view from one of our correspondents:

The Superannuation Industry Supervision Act 1993 contains in Part 9 provisions concerning equal representation on boards of a  company acting as Trustee. These rules apply from the 94/95 year of income. For most funds this will be from July 1, 1994.


Section 93 requires that after June 30, 1995 Funds with 50 or more members require equal representation.


Section 10 defines a member representative to be a member of the board nominated by

a)      Members of the fund or

b)      A trade Union representing the interests of those members


Prior to June 30,1994 the situation was covered by the Occupational Superannuation Standards Act 1987, now called the Superannuation (self managed superannuation funds) Taxation Act.


In 93/94 that Act provided in Section 7 for operating standards to be prescribed by regulation. Among other things those regulations provided for equal representation in large funds. The original regulations were the Occupational superannuation Standards Regulations No 322 of 1987.


I've enquired with people I'd expect would know and my advice is there was no state or national resolution nominating Wilson or McLeod to the positions as required under the "nominated by the union" provisions of the Act.   I'm further told that it would be unimaginable for the AWU to nominate as its Director a young and inexperienced new employee like Robyn McLeod.

I know how union bosses treat goodies like a directorship on a super fund with regular travel and allowances to interstate board meetings.   The new girl wouldn't stand a chance in an open resolution.   Must have been something else she had to offer that got her the gig.