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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 27

(Question No. 4393)

Mr Jacobi asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 20 August 1986:

(1) Further to my question No. 3301, is it a fact that Mr H. Peterson, who resigned as a director of the Trustees Executors & Agency Co. Ltd (TEA) the day before it failed with debts of $93.5 million on 13 May 1983, has been charged with offences concerning $600 000 withdrawn from TEA by the law firm Cannan and Peterson the week before TEA collapsed.

(2) If so, what are the details of charges laid against Mr Peterson and when were they laid.

(3) Can he say whether Mr Peterson is currently the Chairman of the Queensland board of advice of the AMP Society, Chairman of Primac Holdings and a former member of the board of the Stanbroke Pastoral Co.

(4) Can he say who were the directors of TEA in the period leading up to its collapse and what other directorships did they or do they now hold.

(5) Can he also say whether (a) Mr Ogilvy, the Chairman, gave a guarded but optimistic report at the 1982 general meeting of TEA in which he claimed TEA's property involvement contributed substantially to the profitability of the group and that the accounts showed a profit of $510,000, (b) the liquidators of TEA have since indicated the company brought to account at that time unrealised profits and that TEA was able to appear in the black only by the creation of essentially paper profits and (c) in the week TEA collapsed, 20,000 shares were sold on the Melbourne and Sydney exchanges whereas the usual number of tradings per week was approximately 1500.

(6) Do National Companies and Securities Commission (NCSC) reports recommend the prosecution of directors other than Mr Peterson; if so, when will action be implemented against these directors.

(7) When will NCSC reports into TEA be made public.

Mr Lionel Bowen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) I am advised that Mr Peterson was charged with an offence concerning the withdrawl of funds from TEA amounting to $656 819.21.

(2) I am advised that Mr Peterson was charged on 5 June 1986 pursuant to Section 229 (3) of the Companies (Queensland) Code. The charge related to instructions allegedly given by Mr Peterson to withdraw certain sums from TEA shortly before its collapse. The charge against Mr Peterson was as follows: ``That between the 27th day of April, 1983 and the 4th day of May 1983 at Brisbane in the State of Queensland, Howarth Edkins Peterson being an officer of a corporation, namely TEA (1983) Limited did make improper use of information acquired by virtue of his position to gain indirectly an advantage for divers persons''. The committal hearing into the charge commenced on 6 October 1986. I am advised that the magistrate at the committal hearing, Mr Quinlan, SM, did not commit Mr Peterson for trial.

(3) I am advised that Mr Peterson has resigned from the board of the AMP Society; I am also advised that Mr Peterson is currently Chairman of Primac Holdings and is a former member of the board of the Stanbroke Pastoral Co.

(4) I am advised that the following persons were directors of TEA in the period leading up to its collapse on 13 May 1983. Other directorships held by those persons at and before 13 May 1983 are shown:

Alexander Wills Ogilvy, appointed 10 October 1978, Chairman from 4 August 1980. Charles Moore (Australia) Ltd. Uniroyal Holdings Ltd, (Group). The Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd Australian Iron & Steel Pty Ltd. AWI Holdings Pty Ltd. Hematite Petroleum Pty Ltd. Dampier Mining Co. Ltd. Groote Eylandt Mining Co. Pty Ltd. Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Co. Pty Ltd. BHP Nominees Pty Ltd. Pacific Area Investments Pty Ltd. Rheem Australia Ltd. Astrapak Ltd. Blue Circle Southern Cement Ltd. Repco Ltd. Pitt Wadell Bennett Chains Ltd.-Group.

Anchor Holdings Pty Ltd.-Group. Costain Australia Ltd.-Group. Australian Eagle Insurance Co.-Group. Hill Samuel Group Australia Ltd.-Group. Mount Carrington Mines Ltd.

Sir Robert Wentworth Norman, appointed 1 April 1980. Alfa-Laval Pty Limited (Group). Australia-Japan Society of N.S.W. (Inc.). The Australian Gas Light Company (Group). Bank of New South Wales (Group). Chrysler Australia Limited. CIBA-GEIGY Australia Limited. Hanimex Corporation Limited. National Roads and Motorists' Assocation. Partnership Pacific Limited (Group). Reckitt & Colman Australia Limited. Sydney Grammar School Foundation Limited. Cluff Oil (Australia) N.L. Consolidated Petroleum Australia Ltd. Westpac Banking Corporation-Group.

Edward Patrick Mawbery Harty, appointed 9 May 1968. Australian United Corporation Ltd. B.N.P.-G.K.N. Holdings Ltd. (Alternative Director). Glover & Coctle Pty Ltd. Containers Ltd. CSBP & Farmers Ltd Group. Cuming Smith & Co. Ltd. Engelhard Industries Pty Ltd. Finance Corporation of Australia Ltd. Group. G.K.N. in Australia (Holdings) Ltd. Grosvenor International (Australia) Holdings Pty Ltd. Guest Keen & Nettlefords (Aust.) Ltd. Legal & General Assurance Society (Australian Board). London Australia Investment Co. Ltd. L.M. Ericcson Pty Ltd. Swiss Reinsurance Co. (Trustee only). Vickers Australia Ltd. Group. Vickers Cockatoo Dockyard Pty Ltd.

Peter Robin Bunning, appointed as managing director on 21 May 1980. Medical & Commercial Finance Limited.

Maxwell Stanley Mainprize, appointed 5 July 1982. The Colonial Mutural Life Assurance Society Limited. Colonial Mutural General Insurance Company Limited. Colonial Mutual Permanent Building Society. CML Nominees Propretary Limited. Australian Agricultural Company Limited. The Alexandra Club Company Limited.

Howarth Edkins Peterson, appointed 1 March 1982, resigned 12 May 1983 after being informed by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal that he had a conflict of interest. Australian Mutural Provident Society. Stanbroke Pastoral Co. Pty Ltd. and Group. Besser (Qld) Limited and Group. Murphyores Holdings Limited and Group. John Mowlem & Co. (Australia) Pty Ltd. Queensland Cancer Fund. Apex Oil N.L. and Group. Queensland Television Limited. University of Queensland Foundation Ltd. Primac Holdings Limited. Graziers Securities Ltd. Kennedy-Taylor Ltd.

Sir Thomas Langley Webb, appointed 2 May 1957, retired 25 April 1983 on reaching 75. Alliance Oil Development Australia N.L. Group. Alliance Petroleum Australia N.L. (Alternate Director). Bulkships Limited Group. Email Ltd. E.S.C. Tools Pty Ltd. General Credits Holdings Ltd. Group. Lamson Industries (Australia) Ltd. Metals Exploration N.L. Group. McIlwraith McEacharn Ltd. The Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd. Group.

George Edward Warwick Ramsden, appointed 6 August 1975, Chairman of TEA from 26 April 1978 to 4 August 1980, retired on 30 June 1982. Shell Group. Actrol Ltd. C.M.L. Fire & General Insurance Co. Ltd. C.M.L. Nominees Pty Ltd. C.M.L. Superannuation Pty Ltd. The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd. Renold Australia Pty Ltd. The Alexandra Club Co. Ltd

John Lionel Nave, appointed 15 January 1970, retired 5 October 1981. All States Commercial Mills Ltd. Furnace Engineering Pty Ltd. George Hicks Founation. Great Northern Investments (Australia) Ltd. Managed Deposits Ltd.

(5) (a) Yes. (b) Yes. (c) I am advised that 16675 shares were sold compared with an average of 1583 tradings per week.

(6) The recommendations of the NCSC reports are confidential by reason that their disclosure may prejudice current court proceedings. Criminal charges have been preferred against Peter Robin Bunning (Managing Director), Alexander Wills Ogilvy (Chairman), Leonard Malcolm Reid (Secretary), Leigh Garfield Jamieson (Consultant); and Charles Percy Abbott, John Geoffrey Lennon Barnatry and Wilhelmus Antonius Jonnas Boerkamp as directors of Stirling Properties Ltd.

(7) It would not be appropriate to publish the NCSC reports while the above matters are before the courts. It will be a matter for the Ministerial Council for Companes and Securities to determine whether the reports should be published after the court proceedings have been completed.