Three days after Malcolm Turnbull’s re-announcement of interdependency reforms to superannuation, gay and lesbian constituents were still waiting for the Liberal Party to acknowledge the commitment.
Despite the blanket media coverage, Wentworth residents who phoned the Liberal headquarters were told variations on I’m not sure he said that and we haven’t made any announcement.
Turnbull’s address to the Gay and Lesbian Business Association pipped the much quieter real announcement by Finance Minister Nick Minchin over the weekend.
The policy release coincided with a Galaxy poll that found Turnbull neck and neck with Labor’s George Newhouse, with Greens preferences.
But if Turnbull hoped it would help win votes in the marginal seat, it has instead been received with widespread disappointment for not going further.
The Coalition is not ruling out removing discrimination against interdependent relationships in other areas, a spokeswoman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said.
The [superannuation] reforms will be implemented as soon as possible subject to competing legislative priorities.
Over half a million members in military, judiciary, parliamentary and public service schemes will be eligible to nominate a same-sex or interdependent partner for a reversionary pension or an annuity payout on death.
The estimated cost is $40 million over the next term, with a total unfunded liability of $1.8 billion -“ half of which pertains to same-sex couples.
The Government has been disposed to making this change for some time, but until recently, the cost of expanding the range of relationships eligible for death benefits was prohibitive, Minchin said.
Former ABC employee John Challis had been the loudest voice campaigning on the issue of superannuation equality -“ saying at age 79 he and his partner couldn’t afford the luxury of patience.
But having received a commitment from both potential governments, Challis said he is now free to vote on other issues -“ like global warming.
Meanwhile, Senate preferences in NSW have been announced with the Coalition giving first priority to the Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) followed by Family First.
Labor has nominated first preference to the Greens, who have in turn placed Labor before the Coalition.

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