John Dawkins, who was Treasurer in the Keating Government when compulsory superannuation became law, has joined the board of the $17-billion industry fund Cbus.

Dawkins, 65, has been appointed an independent director of Cbus and will attend his first board meeting on June 7, a spokesman for the fund confirmed. He replaces Bernie Fraser, the former Reserve Bank of Australia governor who retired from the Cbus board on June 22, 2011 and is currently chairman of two mining exploration companies and director of a third.

As Treasurer under Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating from 1991 to 1993, Dawkins helped set the legislative foundations for the compulsory super system. The Superannuation Guarantee (SG), established in 1992, mandated super contributions for all workers and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act, introduced in 1993, remains the guiding law for fund trustees and has helped establish industry funds.

Dawkins, who is the only independent director at Cbus, welcomes the SG boost from 9 to 12 per cent by 2020 that was enabled by the Minerals Resources Rent Tax legislation, which passed on 20 March.

“We always knew that the SG would have to be larger,” Dawkins says.

After retiring from politics in 1993, Perth-born Dawkins moved to Adelaide, where he still resides. For the decade until 2004 he was a director of Sealcorp, now Westpac-owned financial planning group Asgard Wealth Solutions, and Elders Rural Bank.

Dawkins succeeded Kim Beazley senior as member for Fremantle in 1977 and remained in the role until 1993. As education minister in the Hawke government, he helped re-introduce tertiary education fees through the higher education contribution scheme, according to an online biography published by Curtin University in Western Australia.

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