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Thursday, 29 March 1979
Page: 1282


Mr FRY - In directing my question to the Minister representing the Attorney-General, I refer to action currently being taken concerning the misuse of solicitors' trust funds by legal practitioners in New South Wales. I ask the Minister: Can he give an assurance that solicitors' trust funds in the Australian Capital Territory are being administered and maintained according to the law? Is he satisfied that the present arrangements for the auditing of solicitors' trust funds in the Australian Capital Territory are adequate to protect the public interest? Is he aware that solicitors in the Australian Capital Territory are permitted to nominate their own auditors? In view of the New South Wales experience, will he consider reviewing the existing arrangements so that auditors of solicitors' trust funds in the Australian Capital Territory are made accountable to the public rather than to the Law Society, as is the case in New South Wales?


Mr VINER (STIRLING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs) -The handling of solicitors' trust accounts in New South Wales is of course entirely a matter for the Government of New South Wales and the laws of that State. I will refer the question raised by the honourable member concerning the legal profession in the Australian Capital Territory to the AttorneyGeneral to give him a considered reply.







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