The Queensland Greens will move a simple amendment to the Public Trustee Bill to ensure the Public Trustee is overhauled in line with the March 2021 recommendations from the Office of the Public Advocate.
“Overhauling the Public Trustee needs serious attention, and I'm concerned that once it drops out of the news cycle, reform will be forgotten.
“It’s deeply disappointing that Labor’s Public Trustee Bill, while making small changes, only addresses one out of 32 recommendations from the Public Advocate.
“The Greens’ amendments would help make sure the State government remains accountable on reforms like the “no profit” rule and appointment of the Public Trustee as a last resort.
“No member of Parliament would accept the undignified and humiliating treatment that some clients of the Public Trustee have suffered.
“I’ve heard too many stories from my constituents about downright exploitation and financial abuses, so we need some urgent action.
- Michael Berkman’s speech on and proposed amendments to the Public Trustee (Advisory and Monitoring Board) Amendment Bill 2021 are here
- The amendments would ensure the Minister is obliged to table a six-monthly report detailing progress towards implementing all 32 of the Office of the Public Advocate’s recommendations from their report, Preserving the financial futures of vulnerable Queenslanders: A review of Public Trustee fees, charges and practices.
- The recommendations include important reforms including:
- (a) that the Public Trustee is appointed as a last resort, and their appointment is periodically reviewed
- (b) that the Public Trustee cannot profit from a client’s assets
- (c) acknowledging the rights and interests of people with impaired decision-making capacity in the Public Trustee Act.