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AGAINST – National Reconstruction Fund Corporation Bill 2022 - Consideration in Detail - Board appointment

The majority voted in favour of disagreeing with amendments introduced by Mackellar MP Sophie Scamps (Independent), which means they failed.

What did these amendments do?

Dr Scamps explained that:

I bring forward these amendments today to inject into the bill a more robust and independent process for the appointment of members to the board of this corporation. After all, this board will be making investment decisions for a $15 billion fund.

Over the last decade, the integrity of many institutions that underpin our democracy has taken a battering. In recent years, we've witnessed the 'jobs for mates' culture flourish here in Canberra, as rates of political friendly appointments to public boards and entities have soared. Last term, one of those entities, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, was so heavily stacked with political appointees—a rate of 40 per cent of those appointments—that the current Attorney-General has made the decision to abolish it. How can the Australian people trust the decisions that flow from institutions that have had their independence compromised in this way?

Amendment text

(1) Clause 5, page 7 (after line 20), after the definition of financial accommodation, insert:

former judge means:

(a) a former Justice of the High Court; or

(b) a former judge of the Federal Court of Australia; or

(c) a former judge of the Supreme Court of a State or Territory.

(2) Clause 19, page 16 (after line 9), after subclause (1), insert:

(1A) A person must not be appointed as a Board member unless:

(a) the selection of the person for the appointment is the result of a process that includes:

(i) public advertising of selection criteria for the position; and

(ii) assessment of applications against the selection criteria by an independent panel consisting of at least 3 members and chaired by a former judge; and

(iii) shortlisting of at least 3 persons for the appointment that are certified, in writing, by the panel to meet all of the selection criteria; and

(b) the person is one of the shortlisted candidates.

(3) Clause 19, page 16 (after line 30), at the end of the clause, add:

(4) Within 7 days after a person is appointed as a Board member, the Minister must cause a copy of the written certification for the person (referred to in subparagraph (1A)(a)(iii)) to be:

(a) tabled in each House of the Parliament; or

(b) if a House is not sitting—presented to the Presiding Officer of that House for circulation to the members of that House.


Date and time: 10:02 AM on 2023-03-09
Allegra Spender's vote: No
Total number of "aye" votes: 67
Total number of "no" votes: 15
Total number of abstentions: 68
Related bill: National Reconstruction Fund Corporation Bill 2023

Adapted from information made available by

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