22 August 2019

 

Leader of the Australian Federal Opposition

Hon. Mr Anthony Albanese MP

PO Box 6022

House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

 

 

STERLING NEW LIFE SCANDAL – WA, QLD, VIC

MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

ROYAL COMMISSION INTO ASIC

 

Dear Mr Albanese

 

I am writing to you for help and hope this letter receives a better response than those I have already written to Mr Shipton, Mr Frydenberg and Mr Morrison.

 

After doing our due diligence my husband and I paid for a 40-year Sterling New Life lease in October 2017 expecting to see out our remaining years in a very secure unit in Mandurah. We thought that this money was placed in a trust but now it appears that it was more of a Ponzi scheme. We also invested $75,000 in units in late 2018 which were supposedly going to be listed on the ASX within weeks. This never happened and again Ponzi scheme springs to mind. We have worked hard all our lives and just wanted to enjoy our retirement with a few simple pleasures like holidays, coffees and meals out whilst still ensuring that we had something to leave our children.

 

With the collapse of the Sterling Group all our money is gone, disappeared, stolen and we face the very real prospect of being homeless in the near future. Can you even imagine the amount of stress and anguish that we are going through at the moment?  This is an intolerable situation for us and the many other vulnerable seniors who have been left in this position through no fault of our own.

 

It has come to light that ASIC was warned in 2015 by the Department of Consumer Affairs in WA regarding some of the Sterling Groups products but failed to notify or warn consumers. Some of the key players and directors of these companies have been involved in other white-collar crime sprees and corporate collapses and were well known to ASIC. Again this was never communicated to the victims yet ASIC is supposed to act as Consumer Watchdog.

 

I am asking for support from you and your colleagues in the Labor Party to raise questions in Parliament regarding the lazy, corrupt or negligent behaviour of ASIC which has led to the loss of life savings, dignity and in some cases the health of between 100-200 elderly citizens. Over 200 letters have been sent to the Prime Minister with no response as yet. We are being ignored by the very person we voted in to represent us; that will not be forgotten at the next election. I would like you to ask the Prime Minister why he has not responded to us and what his intention are, re the urgent payment demand of $28.6m compensation, so that these elderly Australians can live the rest of their days in the peaceful way they intended.

 

ASIC has outsourced the investigation into the collapse of the Sterling Group to KPMG yet ASIC are investigating the ‘Big Four” Accounting firms, of which KPMG is one, for questionable audit practices. How can we know who to trust or have any confidence in these proceedings? ASIC has failed time and time again in its role of consumer protection and I would also ask you to put pressure on the Government for a Royal Commission into ASIC as a Matter of Public Importance.

 

The Government of the day has let down vulnerable Australians and we look to you Mr Albanese to do whatever you can to champion our cause.

  

Yours sincerely

DP