Paul Bracegirdle is a truckie who wants the best for his disabled daughter
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
People have individual requirements from income and superannuation.
Young single people have different expectations from couples nearing retirement.
A dad with a disabled daughter might have a vastly different view about the 10% of his income going into super from, say, a union leader whose union makes just under $1M per year out of its members super payments.
It's the workers money'- not the union bosses.
Here's Paul Bracegirdle at the Royal Commission yesterday, explaining why he wanted to choose his own super fund.
Q. You had a particular interest in having a choice of super. Why was that? Getting a choice of super for yourself - where did your interest stem from?
A. Well, two things. One, I have a disabled daughter. She will never be able to work. She has a very low intellectual ability. And so I was just hoping to afford her the best future that I could and I just - you know, I think you should be able to look into which super funds offer the best rates of return, the least fees - various things. And I just didn't think that TWUSUPER was stacking up as well as some of the commercial organisations, some of the banks and things. And, two, I just thought it was wrong. You know, I just couldn't believe it, that, you know, we could be told where to put 10 per cent of our income. I was shocked. That's where the interest comes from.
So after his union sold him out, Mr Bracegirdle went to his local member, Stephen Smith MP.
3 months later Chris Bowen replied with a form letter that would have provided absolutely no comfort at all. It's hard to read insincere rubbish like "..community views are critical....Mr Bracegirdle's views will be taken into account when government is forming its policies...". Hard to read as a disinterested observer - but imagine how Mr Bracegirdle felt on the receiving end.
So Paul Bracegirdle didn't take it lying down. He got active. What could be clearer than his letter to Commissioner Ian Cambridge of "Fair Work" Australia - and the large proportion of his co-workers who signed up with him.
Don't lose sight of the issue here - all Paul wanted was the right to choose where 10% of his income went.
Ian Cambridge was on his side - but Paul's union the TWU had done a sweetheart deal with Toll Group to sell the workers down the river. And Paul Bracegirdle was just a member with a disabled daughter. An Aussie dad. Not a famous figure like the United States "Teamsters" union boss Jeff Farmer.
Donation of members money to old mate from America - $5,000 and a slap up dinner.
Treating your members like mushrooms - priceless.
Congratulations to the Royal Commission for its work in unearthing these injustices.