Senate debates

Wednesday, 9 February 2022


Economics References Committee; Report

7:11 pm

Photo of Jordon Steele-JohnJordon Steele-John (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

Having heard firsthand the experiences of the victims of the collapse of Sterling Income Trust, I want to acknowledge that the situation that has unfolded should not have been allowed to happen. Retirees involved in the scheme sold their homes to free up funds and then move into rental properties managed by Sterling First. They expected to stay there comfortably for the rest of their lives. Instead, the victims of Sterling First were ripped off. Some were left without their savings or, indeed, homeless. Instead of years building community and enjoying their retirements, these older people have spent years lobbying, campaigning and trying to get justice for their circumstances, left behind and falling through the gaps within the law. People with a track record such as those behind Sterling First should not be able to sell financial products, and regulators such as ASIC should have intervened earlier to stop what was happening to avoid people being ripped off.

I am pleased to read that the report includes recommendations such as:

The committee recommends that the Australian Government take all necessary action to support investors in the Sterling Group of companies, including those who invested in the Sterling Income Trust and Silverlink Preference Shares, being able to access the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort.


The committee recommends that the Australian Government expand the scope of the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort to include managed investment schemes.

I hope these recommendations are picked up and actioned quickly so that those deeply impacted get justice and can get back to their retirement in peace and joy. I thank them for their active advocacy and their determination to ensure that their story was heard and that their representatives took notice of the injustice that was done to them.


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