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LINK: Paragon Apartments in the city was a Westpoint property project before the group collapsed in 2005. Photo: Annaliese Frank

Ex-Westpoint boss free to sell homes

THE State Administrative Tribunal has ruled that being convicted of breaching the Fair Trading Act and being charged by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is not sufficient reason to deprive former Westpoint Group boss Norm Carey of his real estate agent’s licence.

The State Administrative Tribunal last week overruled a decision by Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll not to renew Mr Carey’s licence. The SAT decided to renew Mr Carey’s triennial real estate certificate, subject to conditions.

An estimated $388 million was invested by 4,000 investors in a series of mezzanine funds overseen by Westpoint, which collapsed in 2005.

Criminal chaises brought against Mr Carey and former Westpoint chief financial officer Graeme Rundle by ASIC are expected to go to trial in April next year.

At the heart of the SAT’s deliberations was the question of Mr Carey’s honesty and character. SAT deputy president Judge David Parry said in the judgment the tribunal had given “anxious consideration” as to whether adverse findings against Mr Carey in a number of previous legal appearances demonstrated that he lacked sufficient integrity to be accredited as a real estate agent.

Ultimately, the SAT ruled there was insufficient evidence against Mr Carey to deny him accreditation.

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