The Public Trustee is to reduce some fees and charges to support vulnerable Queenslanders in the wake of an independent review into its operations.
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said last night that there would be immediate relief for the majority of Public Trustee customers whose assets were under financial management.
Queensland Parliament passed new laws in May aimed at improving public confidence in the Public Trustee. The Public Trustee (Advisory and Monitoring Board) Amendment Act 2022 allowed for the creation of a board to provide transparency and public accountability of services to protect vulnerable people.
The new laws require that the board monitor the performance of the Public Trustee’s functions and provide advice and make recommendations to the Justice Department for legislative change or improvements.
Ms Fentiman said the Government recognised the cost-of-living pressures Queenslanders were facing.
“(That) is why we will be placing a moratorium on realty property fees and incidental outlay fees for financial management customers,” she said. “We’re also placing a temporary freeze on any increases to all fees and charges.”
The decision is the first review of the Public Trustee’s fees and charges in 20 years.
The Government last year commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to review the Public Trustee’s fees and charges model. The report found fees and charges were generally at or below those charged by Public Trustees in other states and comparable to private service providers. It also found that, by keeping customer fees at current levels, the Public Trustee was recovering about 65% of costs and services.
Ms Fentiman said more work needed to be done before substantial changes to fees could be implemented.