Complaint lodged with ASIC over Ipswich council company

UPDATE: 

Ipswich City Council has provided this response;

We have not received a complaint at Council or have we received any inquiry from any other agency including the CCC.

The accounts of Ipswich City Properties (ICP) and Council for 2016 (the year of the write off) have been audited by the Auditor-General and signed off without qualification.  That means that there were no issues with the write off.

We would welcome any further scrutiny of the write off because it is simply an internal accounting transaction between Council and its wholly owned company ICP. 

There are no issues going forward about the financial sustainability of ICP or the redevelopment of Ipswich City Square shopping centre.

- Ipswich City Council CEO Jim Lindsay

 

INITIAL:

A COMPLAINT lodged with Australia's finance regulator alleging misconduct at an Ipswich City Council-owned company appears to be under investigation.

The complaint concerns Ipswich City Properties and an internal transaction recorded in the 2015-2016 financial documents worth $34 million.

It was lodged by Gary Duffy, who plans to run for mayor in the upcoming by-election, in August.

The Ipswich City Properties documents were made public for the first time in December, when they were posted on the council's new website dedicated to the four council-owned companies.

An email from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission - sent to Mr Duffy this week - confirms the regulator referred the matter to a different government agency.

An ASIC spokesman told the QT; "It was a matter more appropriate for the Queensland CCC to address and so, with the complainant's consent, that is where ASIC directed it".

In December, Ipswich City Council said the $34 million listed as 'debt forgiven' was an internal transaction between Ipswich City Properties and Ipswich City Council.

CEO Jim Lindsay said the council "wrote off the debt to better reflect the value of the asset".

"Future sale of land and profits from the redevelopment of any land owned by ICP are required to go back to council in any event," Mr Lindsay said, in December. It is forecast over the 15-year development horizon that the council loan will be fully repaid."

The council is already rocking from Mayor Paul Pisasale's sudden resignation, and subsequent police arrest, last month.



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