Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

PO Box 6500 Canberra ACT 2600

 Ref: Sterling Group Debacle


Dear Prime Minister,


I write to you regarding the disgusting dereliction of duty by ASIC that has resulted in the Sterling New Life debacle.  Once again, the elderly have been targeted yet again by these white collar criminals and ASIC who were well aware of what was happening did nothing. 

During your time as Treasurer you would surely have been notified of another scheme to cheat people being uncovered in Australia yet nothing was done to stop it happening.  Many people have lost their life savings and for many of us it feels as if we have lost our lives.  If you were not made aware by ASIC it is another example of them not doing their job.  The department should be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and given a hard shake down.  Mr Shipton should be stripped if his position as he is not fit to lead the department and obviously has lost sight of what is happening or just doesn’t care, either way it displays gross incompetence and negligence on his behalf.  The regulators failed to take any meaningful action against Sterling Life Group, or its directors despite years of valuable evidence presenting a negative picture against those involved.   ASIC was negligent yet again in this case.   How about looking after the people who put you in your very privileged position and writing a cheque for $36 million to compensate those who suffered due to ASIC under-performing yet again.

ASIC knew of the likelihood of failure of The Sterling Group as early as 2015. ASIC databases would have alerted investigators to previous company collapses and breaches of the Corporation Law.   ASIC failed to take appropriate action in 2007 and again in 2015. ASIC failed to protect vulnerable and older consumers by issuing early vital warnings of catastrophic financial loss and by delaying stop orders. ASIC would of (and should have) known that persons involved in the Sterling Life Group had also been involved in the Westpoint disaster.  ASIC should have seen the red flags blowing in the breeze and if they did, they ignored them.  Absolutely disgusting.

I often hear politicians saying we are here for the people and we answer to them, everything has to be transparent.  Let’s see some transparency and stop the constant stream of cover-ups for ASIC and the white collar criminals.  The board of Sterling New Life should be investigated, charged and when found guilty they should be jailed.  They have given many of us a sentence of a mere existence rather than a life and in doing so they deserve no mercy or compassion.  My wife and I constantly wake up with worry through the night, suicide is something we never mentioned until now. 

Prime Minister, when was the last time you saw your wife in tears with all sense of hope gone from her eyes replaced by a look of desperation and hopelessness.  My bet would be you have never seen that and I hope you never do.  I see it every day now and it could have been prevented had ASIC done its job.

In my opinion the Regulatory Officers/Investigators involved should be charged with Regulatory Negligence due to their failed approach to consumer protection.  If this happened in any other business the persons would be dismissed.  I know this will not be the case with regards to a Government Department.  To those people I would like to say that I hope you feel proud of yourselves and satisfied that your lack of action and due diligence has resulted in my wife and I and many others losing our life savings, facing eviction with nowhere to live. 

ASIC’s lack of action has destroyed our lives as much has the criminal actions of the Sterling Life Group Directors.  At a minimum the following should happen without delay:

·         Full compensation must be offered and the full amounts of monies paid returned to all of us affected- both tenants, landlords and investors.

·         Criminal charges must be laid against the Sterling Life Group Directors.

·         ASIC to undertake a review of their operating procedures and FINALLY put procedures and plans in place to prevent this ever happening again.