On 15 May 2017 the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation appointed the Honourable Patricia Anne Bergin SC as an Authorised Inspector under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 to investigate the matters referred to in the terms of the Inquiry in respect to the Returned and Services League of Australia (New South Wales Branch), the RSL Welfare and Benevolent Institution (also known as RSL DefenceCare) and its Trustees and RSL LifeCare Limited.
On Monday 14 August 2017 the Charitable Fundraising Amendment (Inquiries) Act 2017 was assented to and the Inquiry was reconstituted as a Public Inquiry. The Honourable Patricia Anne Bergin SC, is taken to have been appointed as the Public Inquirer from the commencement of the Charitable Fundraising Amendment (Inquiries) Act 2017.
The terms of the Public Inquiry can be found here.
Public hearings commenced on 5 September 2017 and concluded on 24 October 2017. The Public Inquirer heard closing submissions over two days on 9 and 10 November 2017. Please see related links for the opening address, witness list and transcripts of evidence. A Schedule of Transcript Amendments has been prepared and should be read in conjunction with the transcript of public hearings.
It should be noted that during the public hearings, objections were taken pursuant to s. 41N(2) of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 by all witnesses except:
- Mr Peter Ham
- Mr Dennis Cowdroy
- Mr Wayne Gladman
Closing Submissions of Counsel Assisting the Inquiry and witnesses and interested parties granted authorisation to appear can be found here.
The Report of the Public Inquiry is available here.