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Thursday, 24 November 2011
Page: 13882

Australian Securities and Investments Commission: Australian Property Custodian Holding Ltd

(Question No. 374)

Mr Christensen asked the Assistant Treasurer, in writing, on 23 May 2011:

(1) What is the status of the investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) into allegations of impropriety surrounding Australian Property Custodian Holding Limited (APCH) and its management of the Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust (PRACPT).

(2) Can he provide the findings (to date) of the investigation.

(3) By when will the investigation conclude, and the outcome be made public.

(4) What assurance can he provide that (a) this matter will be treated seriously and investigated thoroughly by ASIC, irrespective of whether or not PRACPT is still a solvent entity, (b) individuals associated with APCH will be penalised and/or prosecuted to the full extent of the law if ASIC determines its actions in managing PRACPT were criminal and/or negligent, and (c) funds will be tracked down and seized to repay PRACPT if it is determined by ASIC that illegal transactions were made on its behalf by APCH.

Mr Shorten: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) ASIC is continuing to look into the affairs of APCH as responsible entity of the PRACPT and has taken steps to obtain further information in relation to these matters, including the operation and current circumstances of the PRACPT. ASIC is liaising with the administrators of APCH and is considering what further action is required.

(2) As there is an ongoing investigation being conducted, ASIC is unable to comment at this stage in relation to any findings of the investigation to date in relation to the collapse of APCH and PRACPT.

(3) ASIC is taking all appropriate steps to make sure its investigation is carried out as thoroughly and efficiently as possible. ASIC is not in a position at this time to comment on the possible outcomes or actions that may result from its investigation or when these will be made public.

(4) ASIC recognises the seriousness of the allegations raised in this matter and is treating them seriously and is undertaking a thorough and timely investigation. Where ASIC determines, based on admissible evidence that individuals associated with APCH, have breached the law, it will ensure appropriate action is taken.