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Review of the Public Trustee - Terms of Reference

Review of the Public Trustee

Terms of Reference


To undertake an independent review into the administrative and operational practices of the Public Trustee.


The Public Trustee is a Government Business Enterprise with the principal objective of offering specialist and independent trustee services to the Tasmanian community, irrespective of the value of any particular matter.

The Public Trustee’s 2019-20 Annual Report identifies the following main undertakings:

  • preparing wills, enduring powers of attorney and enduring guardianships;
  • acting as an executor of estates, or estate administrator if there is no will;
  • assuming the role of executor when a person named in a will is unable or unwilling to act;
  • acting as attorney for people requiring assistance to manage their financial affairs;
  • acting as trustee for various types of trusts including accident compensation awards;
  • assisting people to manage their financial affairs when the Public Trustee is appointed as a financial administrator by the Guardianship and Administration Board; and
  • managing funds under the control of the Public Trustee in order to provide a commercial rate of return to contributor.

The Public Trustee delivers a number of non-commercial activities for the Government.

These are:

  • administration of absolute estates with a gross asset value of less than $60 000;
  • administration of continuing trust and life tenancy estates with a gross asset value of less than $100 000;
  • administration and management of minor trusts with a gross asset value of less than $20 000; and
  • management of assets for represented persons with a gross asset values of less than  $100 000.

The Government meets the cost of these non-commercial activities through a Community Service Obligation Agreement between the Crown and the Public Trustee.

A number of concerns have been raised recently, both through the media and directly to the State Government, about the operations of the Public Trustee and its dealings with clients and client outcomes.

The Government expects that the Public Trustee provides professional services, delivered with integrity and understanding to the Tasmanian community, in accordance with its enabling and other applicable legislation.


The review will inquire into, report on and make recommendations in relation to the following matters:

  • the extent to which the Public Trustee is effectively performing its main undertakings and community service obligations with reference to relevant matters including legislative responsibilities, the current legislative framework and stakeholder feedback;
  • the extent to which the Public Trustee effectively meets its commitments under the “Mission, Vision and Values” statement, particularly in relation to a client service focus, with respect and integrity across all its functions;
  • the appropriateness of current fees and charges applied by the Public Trustee for its services, given its costs and objectives;
  • the appropriateness of the current Community Service Obligation Agreement between the Crown and the Public Trustee;
  • the financial sustainability of the entity with particular reference to ongoing changes in the number and composition of clients and commercial activities;
  • whether the current Public Trustee governance framework is appropriate in assisting the effective delivery of the entity’s main undertakings and any appropriate changes to current governance arrangements that may be required;
  • the impact that the implementation of the recommendations arising from the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute’s review of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 would  have on the administrative and operational practices of the Public Trustee;
  • the potential for current operational practices to benefit from the implementation of reforms to service delivery recently implemented by similar organisations in other jurisdictions; and
  • any associated relevant matters  to assist the review of the administrative and operational practices of the Public Trustee.

The inquiry timeframe should include matters within the last 10 years, that is from 1 January 2011 to the present day.

Reporting and Timeframe:

A final report is to be submitted to the Public Trustee’s Shareholding Ministers by no later than 30 November 2021.

Other Matters:

  • The Report is to be undertaken by a person or entity that is external to the Public Trustee and possessing the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience.
  • Preparation of the report is to include the opportunity for members of the public and key stakeholders of the Public Trustee, including the Board and Executive Management Team of the Public Trustee, to provide input in relation to the matters detailed in the Review scope.

Tribunals and Boards have moved

Tribunals & Boards have moved

The Asbestos Compensation Tribunal, Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, Forest Practices Tribunal, Health Practitioners Tribunal, Guardianship and Administration Board, Motor Accident Compensation Tribunal, Mental Health Tribunal, Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal and Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal have moved to new premises.

Since 13 July 2020, Tribunals and Boards including the:

  • Asbestos Compensation Tribunal;
  • Anti-Discrimination Tribunal;
  • Forest Practices Tribunal;
  • Health Practitioners Tribunal;
  • Guardianship and Administration Board;
  • Motor Accident Compensation Tribunal;
  • Mental Health Tribunal;
  • Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal; and
  • Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal

have been co-located at 38 Barrack Street, Hobart.

This map shows their new location and the red arrow in the photograph points to the entrance to their new premises.

Map of 38 Barrack Street Hobart

Phone numbers, postal addresses, and email addresses have not changed.

If you have any questions about how this change of premises affects you, please contact the relevant Tribunal or Board.

Prisoner Mental Health Care Taskforce Final Report

Prisoner Mental Health Care Taskforce Final Report

This Report has been prepared to provide the Minister for Corrections with advice on ways in which the delivery of mental health services to prisoners and detainees in Tasmania can be improved.

Its release was delayed until the relevant Coronial inquiry had concluded.

The Report is available for download. (PDF, 535.4 KB)

Independent Investigation into the THS and the management of child sexual abuse

Independent investigation into the THS and the management of child sexual abuse

On 22 October 2020, the Tasmanian Government announced the establishment of an independent investigation into the circumstances of a deceased former employee of the Launceston General Hospital, in relation to child sexual abuse allegations.

The investigation will examine the systems (including legislation, policies, practices and procedures) of the Tasmanian Health Service, Department of Health and other relevant Government Agencies in relation to the management of historical allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Department of Justice will provide administrative support to the conduct of the investigation.

The Terms of Reference are available for download. (PDF, 270.1 KB)

The Government will publicly release the findings at the completion of the investigation.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that our systems operate to protect the safety and wellbeing of children.

The investigation will complement, not substitute, the extensive work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Tasmanian Government encourages anyone affected by child sexual or physical abuse to access the services and support groups that are available to assist. Some options for advice and support are listed below:

Please remember that help and support is available.

  • Relationships Australia Tasmania - 1300 364 277
  • Sexual Assault Support Service Inc. - 03 6231 0044
  • If you need immediate support, 24-hour telephone assistance is available though:
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • beyondblue: 1300 224 636
  • 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978

Independent Review of Expungement of Historical Offences Act 2017 - Final report

Independent Review of Expungement of Historical Offences Act 2017: Report of the Independent Reviewers

Section 32 of the Expungement of Historical Offences Act 2017 (the Act) requires the Minister to cause an independent review of the operation of the Act to be completed within 6 months after the second anniversary of the Act’s commencement. The Act commenced on 9 April 2018.

An independent review was conducted, including a call for written submissions from interested parties to enable consideration of the matters.

The Report of the Independent Review of Expungement of Historical Offences Act 2017 (PDF, 4.0 MB) was tabled in Parliament on November 17, 2020.

Contact us if you require an accessible document and we will produce one within 10 working days.

Electoral Act Review Final Report

Electoral Act Review Final Report

The Electoral Act Review Final Report (PDF, 6.7 MB) can now be downloaded. The report was the result of a review of Tasmania’s Electoral Act 2004 and associated election laws jointly conducted by the Department of Justice and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Correctional Officer recruitment

Correctional Officer recruitment

A career change that changes lives

The Tasmania Prison Service is looking for highly motivated people who want to create safer communities.

Correctional Officer roles are available around the state for those seeking a challenging and rewarding career working with offenders to turn their lives around.

No previous experience is necessary, and successful applicants will be given all the training needed to become effective and professional Correctional Officers.

We’re looking for applicants with strong communication skills, along with the ability to negotiate and resolve conflicts, and work effectively with people from all walks of life. Applicants will also need to uphold the Values of the Department of Justice, including acting with integrity, respect and accountability, and contributing to making our workplaces inclusive and collaborative.

Information evening

To learn more about this challenging career, you are invited to attend an information evening:

7–9pm, Tuesday, 17th August 2021

Hockey Tasmania, 19 Bell Street, New Town

To attend via Zoom, contact closer to the date for the link.


To apply for, or get more information about these roles, visit Tasmania Prison Services careers or contact Alika Ertl on 1800 233 911 or (03) 6165 7276.