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Thursday, 12 September 2019
Page: 2795


Mr KHALIL (Wills) (13:39): I speak on behalf of the Holt Norman Ashman Baker Action Group, which is an action group run voluntarily by and for victims of the so-called accountant and financial planner Peter Holt and his partners who have been financially devastated. I met with constituents in my electorate of Wills who were victims of Peter Holt. They informed me that they lost around $1.5 million and that Peter Holt was their accountant. They told me that they thought he was doing their tax, but he was actually taking out massive loans without their knowledge. My constituents discovered monthly statements for bank accounts that they didn't know they had, with deductions for tens of thousands of dollars each month. When they started to investigate, they found hundreds of other people had been victims as well. A 2018 Senate inquiry into consumer protection found that around 500 people were victims of Peter Holt. Many victims said they didn't know they had loans and that they had been taken out fraudulently.

Peter Holt was banned by ASIC for just three years. The ban expired in 2015. His victims made submission to the banking royal commission, yet they weren't selected to testify. The stories they were told did not fit in with what the commission was trying to do. I want to ask the government how that is possible. The victims have written to both former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the current Prime Minister. They did not qualify for this government's compensation packages because, among other reasons, Peter Holt had entered into insolvency. I call on the government and the Treasurer to start listening to the victims and to offer proper compensation and restitution.