Graham Long, pastor of the Wayside Chapel and helper of the homeless in Sydney’s rough-and-ready Kings Cross, put his unique spin on the endless ‘Sydney versus Melbourne’ debate at last month’s Conexus/Comminsure roundtable (see page 20). “There’s nothing quite the same as Wayside Chapel here in Melbourne. The numbers on the streets are not so large and the charities are a tad more religious than we are.

In Sydney we think, as far as the Ten Commandments are concerned, five is a pass…and we can negotiate on which five.” While we’re on one-liners, you can always rely on Dr. Don Stammer for a couple at his annual Budget post-mortem for ASFA. Stammer described Australia’s shift away from the old defined benefit superannuation system to today’s accumulation model as the “fourth pillar” of retirement incomes policy. And he reckons it’s a pillar few other nations would have stood for.

“Can you imagine standing on a street corner in Paris, Munich or Madrid and saying you’d like to see a pension system where the punter wore all the risks? You wouldn’t get out of there alive.” Stammer blames our recent convict past. “How else do you explain the fact we’re all perfectly content with a superannuation system offering something called ‘compulsory choice’,” Stammer asked.

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