Position vacant: the Cooper Inquiry into the superannuation system is looking for someone to assist the panel in its deliberations, ASFA announced yesterday.

Pauline Vamos, the chief executive of ASFA, said at the association’s regular members’ lunch in Sydney, that Jeremy Cooper, the ASIC executive who is heading the inquiry, would like someone from the industry to work with the panel, which is looking at a range of issues with respect to superannuation, including commissions in the retail sector.

Joe Hockey, the Shadow Treasurer, addressed the ASFA lunch, saying he thought it was a good thing that the Cooper inquiry sought to get the services of an experienced professional from the industry.

Hockey delivered a wide-ranging speech on the world economy, noting that Australia was faring better than most western nations in the recession.

He was critical of the Government’s spending, given that it would lead to an annual interest bill of about $10 billion.

“That’s where the political pain starts,” he said. “Interest rates are going to go up, and unemployment is going to go up.”

Asked from the floor by Michael Dwyer, the chief executive of First State Super, about the Chinese growth story, Hockey replied that he had “grave concerns”. He said China needed 7 per cent a year growth to account for the new entrants in the workforce and it already had 9 per cent unemployment.

Hockey predicted that there would be more collapses
of financial companies, especially in Europe.

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