Are there conflicts of interest for Trust Board members?

Are there conflicts of interest for Trust Board members?

On Saturday, Sydney Morning Herald Senior Writer Deborah Snow reported on the aged care proposal in her story “Battle looms over former military HQ at Middle Head”. READ MORE HERE.

The story confirmed that Board Member Sandra Hook is also the Chairman of Retirement Living Today Pty Ltd, which will also market aged care homes,

Ms. Hook became a Director on June 18, 2014 and is also a shareholder. The founder and CEO of the company is Michael Farley of Raglan St. Mosman.

According to the SMH article, the Trust says that Ms. Hook will not abstain from voting on the aged care proposal. The Trust says that this is because “there is no commercial relationship, past, present or proposed.”

However, our research indicates that under the relevant Commonwealth legislation, Ms. Hook would need to abstain and also not be present during any discussions of aged care. This is according to the new Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) which came into force on 1 July 2014.

The Act also says that the Board can vote to override the PGPA Act and allow Ms. Hook to vote, but that this has to be recorded in the minutes.

There have been no minutes published since April, so it is unclear what is the status of Ms. Hook’s ability to vote on aged care.

It is also unusual for Board minutes not to be timely published, especially in light of a controversial proposal before the Trust.

We will write to Chair Tinney and seek answers to the lack of minutes and the issues raised in Ms. Snow’s article.

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