Deputy Opposition Leader Peter Rundle has slammed the Attorney General for dismissing serious concerns about WA’s Public Trustee, following another media exposé about the institution.
Mr Rundle said a report by ABC revealed disturbing allegations that the Public Trustee has blocked a West Australian pensioner from accessing his bank account, leaving him with no money for food.
“In Question Time this week, I asked the Attorney General what he was doing about alleged callous treatment of clients and requested an update on reviews into the WA Public Trustee,” Mr Rundle said.
“Rather than take my question seriously, the Attorney General launched into a dismissive tirade about impacted people making submissions to the Auditor General’s review into the Public Trustee.
“The Attorney General knows full well that the Auditor General’s review is not looking at individual cases so will not accept individual submissions.
“Clearly, the Attorney General is confused or perhaps he simply doesn’t care about the appropriate management of West Australians estates.”
Mr Rundle said the Public Trustee, which is an independently operated Government entity, was managing $1.5 billion in assets and holds at least $23.7 million through fees.
“A self-funding Government body in charge of such significant funds must be investigated if there are any concerns around mismanagement or abuse,” Mr Rundle said.
“I have been raising concerns about WA’s Public Trustee in Parliament for more than a year, including calling for a wide-ranging inquiry to be conducted into the Trustee.
“The Attorney General ignored my call for the Public Accounts Committee to look into the Trustee, and now we see even more confusing answers from the Attorney General.”
Mr Rundle said there are many West Australians who are genuinely concerned about their loved ones and the handling of their estates.
“They deserve clear and coherent answers from the Attorney General but unfortunately all we are seeing from John Quigley is a Minister who is confused about the happenings within his own portfolio.”