Queensland’s own Bleak House

To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.” – Magna Carta
Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” – Martin Luther King Jnr

Open Letter to the Queensland Attorney General

I write to you concerning matters brought to my attention by a family who I have interviewed on two occasions. It grieves me to say that this family has been the victim of grave injustice. The relevant facts of this matter and another are outlined below. Furthermore, I once again bring to the attention of your office a matter of fraud and maladministration by officers for whom you have direct responsibility. I have brought this matter to the attention of the Attorney’s General of the Bligh, Newman and now Palaszczuk governments. To no avail.

The QCAT appeal APL149-20 is a compensation claim against the Public Trustee on behalf of a former client of the Public Trustee (QCAT client number G8252). QCAT’s decision has been reserved for over eight months since the final hearing. This is far too long to reserve a decision.

The Public Trustee’s mismanagement of client trust assets has been exposed in the Qld Public Advocate’s 2021 report “Preserving the financial futures of vulnerable Queenslanders” and in the recent ABC Four Corners program about the Public Trustee. The person’s compensation claim is a case study in the Public Advocate’s report, he is – “Callan” in case study 5 part 1 and 5 part 2 regarding QCAT denying him access to justice [see https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/tp/2021/5721T283.pdf ]

QCAT’s indefinite reservation of its decision in the compensation claim is a further obstruction of justice in a matter of public Interest and, in that context, may seem to be politically motivated. I urge you as the minister responsible to ensure that justice is done and seen to be done in this case.

(i) I understand QCAT has not responded to complaints by the family concerned about the length of time the decision has been reserved.

(ii) I understand they also wrote to you on April 25 and you have not responded. Can you please respond to them? Can you please advise within 7 working days when QCAT will release a decision on the appeal APL 149-20?

Courts & Tribunals covering up for Public Trustee
This denial of natural justice (procedural fairness) has arisen on another occasion with dire results. The Supreme Court of Queensland saw fit to conceal from public scrutiny sage and meticulous advice received by the Official Solicitor of the Public Trustee. That advice was received on 18 November 2011 from a member of the private bar, Mr James O’Regan and stated that:  

“In my view, on the basis of these uncontroversial factors alone, Mr Taylor (the adult) has reasonable prospects of establishing that the Sabdias occupied a position whereby they were able to influence Mr Taylor. On the basis of my current instructions, I think Mr Taylor has reasonable prospects of: (a) establishing undue influence with respect to the gift of the Property to the Sabdias; (b) obtaining an order for the transfer of title to the Property back into his (Ross Taylor’s) name.

Mr Justice Martin ratified the legal theft of Ross Taylor’s family home by his accountants, the Sabdia Family Trust. On 12 September 2012 Martin J ordered that:

“A Deed of Agreement between the Public Trustee as financial administrator for Carl Ross Taylor with the Respondents (the “Sabdias”) dated 31 August 2012″ be accepted and that the house be transferred to the Sabdia’s family trust.”

Mr Justice Martin then ordered that the file (which included the sage and meticulous advice from Mr O’Regan of counsel) be sealed thus covering up both the fraud by the Sabdias and the denial of justice to Mr Taylor.

Ross Taylor was subsequently taken from his marital home and placed in a facility where he later died penniless and without the comfort of his friends and family.

As the Attorney General you must see to it that the Public Trustee and the courts/tribunals be made accountable for the actions where they have an obligation to act in the interests of those clients who, by the very nature of the relationship, are in a position of vulnerability or dependency.

Conclusion
The public trustee’s office must be returned to the Queensland Public Service where it can be made accountable. It must not be self-funded, the Public Trustee’s Office should be funded in the same way as the Department of Environment and Science, or Department of Justice and Attorney-General. Furthermore, financial advice and assistance to the poor, old, sick and vulnerable should be provided by the State free-of-charge.

Yours sincerely

Ian Curr
B.Sc (UQ) Grad. Dip. ATAX (UNSW)
2 June 2022

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