QLD’s Freemasons warned over secret payments after $223M sale of Masonic Care Homes

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The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) has found the group breached federal regulations in failing to be open with its 6,000-plus Queensland members over payments its directors approved for themselves following the 2016 sale of the Not For Profit’s 11 aged care homes, The Australian reports.

The paper had reported in 2017 that lawyer Bruce Milner, the head of the Freemasons’ associated charity, the Board of Benevolence of Aged Masons Widows and Orphans Fund, quit in June 2016 after being forced to repay more than $70,000 in expenses.

The charity’s 2016 annual report had also revealed a $5 million increase in remuneration to senior management and board members that included one-off bonuses and termination payments.

“To address the breaches and noncompliance … the assistant commissioner has given board of benevolence a written warning under s80-5 of the ACNC Act,’’ the ACNC said in its statement.

“The ACNC acknowledges that the board has taken steps to review and rectify its governance, including implementation of an independent governance review.’’

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