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Thursday, 27 November 2014
Page: 9544

Financial Services


Senator O'NEILL (New South Wales) (14:17): My question is to the acting Assistant Treasurer, Senator Cormann. The minister will recall the collapse of Trio Capital and the devastating effect that collapse had on thousands of investors. I refer to the Minister for Finance's pre-election promise in May last year, where he said in relation to the collapse of Trio, 'We do believe that there is a case for the government to look more closely as to whether there would be some justification for a level of compensation, if not for the full amount of the loss but at least a level of compensation.'

Has the minister looked at a level of compensation for the victims of the Trio collapse, as he promised he would?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance) (14:18): I thank the senator for that question. Yes, I have and, yes, considerations within government are continuing. I have had particular interaction with my good friend and colleague Senator Fierravanti-Wells and also with the member for Bradfield, Mr Fletcher, in relation to these matters. They have taken a keen interest in this.

Obviously, there are a number of stakeholders who have made representations over the last few months as well. At this point, those considerations are continuing within government.


Senator O'NEILL (New South Wales) (14:18): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Can the minister confirm that, despite his indications of assistance to the victims of the Trio collapse prior to the election, he has had no meetings with the ARP Growth Fund unit holders, who were victims of the collapse? Is it true that the minister's office has refused to meet them, despite repeated requests from the victims and other members of parliament?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance) (14:19): I did not actually promise before the last election to provide compensation. What I promised was that the government would consider various issues. These are very complex matters and there are matters of precedent that are involved here as well.

There have actually also been conversations in relation to this with some very senior people on the Labor side. You might want to reflect on who the Minister for Financial Services was at the time of the Trio collapse and in the period subsequent to that. You might just want to be very careful about how you decide to progress this if you are actually interested in achieving a potential outcome in relation to these matters.

Senator Moore: Mr President, I rise on a point of order.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Moore, I think the minister has concluded his answer.

Senator Moore: Mr President, I was on my feet before the minister sat down. I was going to point to the direct relevance to the specific question. I will put that on notice: the particular question was meeting with the ARP Growth Fund. That was not referred to in that answer.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Moore. It is really past the point for the point of order; but in the event, there were two parts to the question. The minister was answering the first part.






Senator O'NEILL (New South Wales) (14:20): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. The minister indicating that he did not promise a degree of compensation will be quite a deal of new information for the ARP Growth Fund unit holders. Why has the minister in his interactions, and his office in its interactions, with ARP Growth Fund unit holders created the impression of false hope that there will be compensation?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance) (14:20): I completely reject the premise of that question. I did not create an impression of false hope. I promised that the government would consider various issues, bearing in mind that Minister Shorten, when he considered these issues, rejected outright having any look at this at all. We are currently actually working our way through some of those issues.