The ladder of law has no top and no bottom - Bob Dylan 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll'
After six years of people exposing the office of the public trustee in Queensland for failure to look after its clients’ finances, the Attorney General Yvette D’Arth has finally suspended the Public Trustee, Peter Carne. However such extensive failure does not lie with one man, Peter Carne, it lies within the institution of the Public Trustee’s office itself; in the way it was set up; and how it operates to squander worker’s hard earned wages and their family homes.
Attorney general D’Ath is being very tight lipped about what possible ‘serious misconduct’ is being alleged against the ALP appointed Public Trustee, Peter Carne. Her office is hiding behind ‘due process‘. Does anyone have any knowledge of what the public trustee is accused of ? Did someone in crown law finally read one of the many affidavits submitted to the courts outlining the maladministration by the Public Trustee’s office? Somehow I doubt it.
All the Attorney will say is:
“There will be no further comment to ensure proper process is followed.”
The Attorney-General does not mention whether Peter Carne is suspended on full pay or not. This is the usual procedure in cases like these. Instead, why not spend that money pursuing the fraudsters?
On the Public Trustee’s website Mr Carne says the trustee is there during the times of grief and loss when Queensland families need it the most. But herein lies the problem, the public trustee rips off the families and invests the monies with Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC). This statutory corporation lost $billions during the global financial crisis, yet the government insists the monies held by the public trustee is invested with QIC which was set up under former Labor treasurer Keith De Lacy in 1991. Here are some salient figures from the Workers Audit of Qld financial affairs:
“The 2008-09 Budget reveals that the state government through the Queensland Investment Corporation invested $27 billion in financial markets to fund ‘future employee and other obligations’. The government expected a return of the 7% but due to the financial crisis instead received 2% – this produced a deficit of $995 million (p3). The financial crisis has continued to impact on the state government revenue. The 2009-10 Budget reveals that revenue dropped due to lower taxation revenue, decreased coal royalties, and lest GST revenue given from the Federal Government (p44). This continued in 2010-11, and 2011-12 with the natural disasters making the condition even worse.”
QIC now invests in assets privatised by former Labor Premier Anna Bligh. This includes investing in Abbot Point coal terminal, the forestry business and Queensland Rail’s freight, all privatised under Labor in 2009. Peter Carne was appointed by Labor to the board of QIC.
What about the right of the public to know how their funds have been misused? A full enquiry is needed and recommendations for real change required. Bernie Neville, one of the people who exposed the corruption has reported these crimes to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) only to be told that his complaint does not fall under their legislation. This despite the CCC’s website proclaiming that its job is:
- To work with public sector agencies, including the Queensland Police Service (QPS), to fight misconduct, including corruption.
- To investigate cases of potentially serious misconduct.
How many lives has the public trustee’s office destroyed?
Ross Taylor is one, the public guardian working with the public trustee had Taylor abducted from his home by trickery and deception, took his freedom, and locked him up in a high security aged care facility run by the RSL. Ross has been an anti-war activist all his life. Both the Public Guardian and the Public Trustee refused to tell his friends where Ross was for four days. Here is a video of Bernie Neville and the author seeking his whereabouts at the office of the Public Trustee in Queen Street, Brisbane.
On 21 Oct 2013 friends of Ross went to ask the Public Trustee and his officers why he had allowed a community house (AHIMSA) to be sold. Whay had he refused to prosecute fraudsters, Brian Laver and Will Marcus, for theft and fraud from AHIMSA house. Together they took over $1M from Carl Ross Taylor, a retired meatworker, worse still they stole fromthe community a resource sadly needed.
To this day the Attorney-General has not acted to challenge this fraud.
Police have done nothing.
The Public Trustee did nothing, even though his sole remit was to to act for his client, Carl Ross Taylor.
Acting on the ‘sage advice of Queens Counsel‘ Peter Carne refused to prosecute the fraudsters, Laver, Marcus and Sabdia. He was supported by Mr Justice Glenn Martin who lauded the application by the Public Trustee’s barrister, D. B. Fraser QC for giving ‘meticulous and sage advice‘ on the fraudulent transaction transferring Taylor’s home at Sunnybank to his accountant’s family trust account.
Still no justice for Ross Taylor! Or for the Aboriginal Community that tried to buy AHIMSA house so that their youth could have a safe house. But was refused by Carne and his solicitor, Ian Campbell! On whose instructions? The land at 26 Horton Street has ended up in the hands of the Education Department for emergency extensions to West End Primary.
Peter Carne is suspended under s9 of the Public Trustee Act which states in part: “The public trustee must give written notice to the Minister of all direct or indirect financial interests that the public trustee has or acquires in a business or in an entity carrying on a business.“
For those in crown law or government lawyers looking to attack critics of the office of the public trustee, nothing said or written here has not already been said by me and others in the Qld Civil Administration Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Qld.
13 June 2019
Queensland’s public trustee Peter Carne has been suspended after serious allegations were made against him.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath says Mr Carne was suspended on Thursday, pending a show cause notice, after serious allegations that “could amount to misbehaviour under the Public Trustee Act“.
Ms D’Ath’s brief statement says Samay Zhouand has been appointed as acting Public Trustee effective immediately.
The public trustee deals with the estates of people who’ve died when no executor has been appointed.
On the website, Mr Carne says the trustee is there during the times of grief and loss when Queensland families need it the most.
© AAP 2019