Several speakers mistakenly argued union super funds would be excluded from the new policy, despite being corrected by the lone Labor MP on the committee, Matt Thistlethwaite.
One attendee, John Graham, noted the older demographic in the room but said the effects of the franking credit crackdown would go well beyond Australia’s 200,000 self-managed super funds, and would affect his own four adult children.
«This isn’t just an attack on us. This is an attack on our families and our grandchildren,» he said to sustained applause from the crowd. «Beware the fighting 800,000.»
Liberal MP Craig Kelly, who also sits on the committee, agreed and said passing on an inheritance to future generations was «one of the great reasons» why Australians save money.
Margaret Chuck, 63, was the lone speaker in favour of Labor’s policy and was repeatedly booed by the crowd during her presentation.
«This is not money these people have earned. This money comes out of other taxpayers’ pockets in such a large amount that it would cover the funding of public schools all across Australia,» she said to groans from the audience.
Also present in the room despite not being members of the committee were Liberal MPs Trent Zimmerman and John Alexander, as well as Liberal senate candidate Andrew Bragg.
The hearing took place on the same morning The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age revealed the Liberal Party was using the taxpayer-funded parliamentary inquiry to drive donations.
Liberal MP Jason Falinski, another committee member, used the inquiry to encourage constituents to attend a $25-a-head fundraiser with Mr Wilson and Liberal candidate Dave Sharma this week.
Outside the inquiry, Mr Falinski said accusations the fundraiser was tied to the inquiry was «an absolute lie, a frustrating lie [put out by] the Labor Party».
«There is no politicking involved in the inquiry. The inquiry is a straight-up inquiry,» he said.
«Labor has got themselves into all sorts of trouble over this and so their response is to close it down.»
However, Liberal MP Craig Kelly said he thought it was perfectly reasonable for the party to raise funds off the back of the inquiry.
«In a free country, that is what you’re allowed to do,» he said. «Everyone is free to attend. People are free to do whatever they want with people that come here. People can stand out the front and lobby. They can stand here and hand out forms for the Labor Party, for GetUp! and for One Nation or for the Greens.»
But that was not the view of one man who interrupted the beginning of the Chatswood session by repeatedly yelling «this process is a sham» and «this process is a scam».
The man was forcibly removed by other attendees — during which he tripped and fell over, prompting the crowd to cheer and clap. Asked if there was a security presence, Mr Wilson said: «No, because we don’t normally have this childish behaviour.»
Another hearing was scheduled to take place at the Bondi Junction RSL on Friday afternoon.
Michael Koziol is a political correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.