Shadow Attorney-General Tim Nicholls. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Shadow Attorney-General Tim Nicholls. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Rocky meeting about Public Trustee transparency

Shadow Attorney-General Tim Nicholls will travel to Rockhampton on Monday to meet with residents and hear their experiences dealing with the Public Trustee.

It follows a report by the Public Advocate, Mary Burgess, that found the Public Trustee, which controls the finances of thousands of Queenslanders with impaired decision-making, falls short of its "legal and fiduciary duties and community expectations".

Ms Burgess put forward 32 recommendations in response to what she perceived as complex and opaque fees charged by the agency.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman tabled the document in Parliament this month and accepted the recommendations in principle, saying that the government would establish a board to make the body more accountable.

"The Government knows more work needs to be done to protect vulnerable Queenslanders; that's why we acted swiftly and accepted the Public Advocate's recommendations, including setting up Public Trustee Board which will improve the Public Trustee's performance, transparency, and public accountability," she said.

"I am pleased to report that a review of the Public Trustee's fees and charges is already underway, and many other reforms have already been implemented through the Public Trustee's Customer First Agenda."

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

The Public Trustee said it had been on a "transformational journey for more than a year" implementing its Customers First Agenda.

"We are continuing on our steady journey of change and improvement and the voices and opinions of our customers and their support networks are integral in informing this change," it said.

"In instances where customers may not be satisfied with the level of service that they have received, we have a number of mechanisms to ensure that they can voice their concerns or complaints.

"If a customer wants to raise a complaint or request a review of their fees and charges, they are encouraged to bring these up with the Public Trustee to ensure that appropriate action can be taken, either by the Public Trustee or an independent review."

Mr Nicholls said he was determined to find out how widespread the problems in Ms Burgess's report were.

"Vulnerable Queenslanders are getting ripped off," he said.

"The Public Trustee needs to be open, transparent and accountable and for too long that hasn't happened.

"We want people to have confidence in the Public Trustee to look after their money properly.

"If you've had a bad experience, we want to know about it."

The LNP meeting will be held in the whiskey lounge of CocoBrew on Monday, March 29, from 10am to 12pm.



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