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RSL’s former LifeCare Director says funds not misused

Rod White says pay was justified but can’t remember exactly what for.

A former director of NSW RSL’s aged care arm LifeCare is confident he was performing duties that justified being paid a special consultants fee, but can’t remember exactly what those duties were.

Rod White told a public inquiry on Wednesday he was certain he was performing duties above and beyond his role as a director of LifeCare, which justified receiving annual fees starting from $18,000.

“I’m confident I demonstrated in my actions I was doing other things outside of being a director,” White said.

“I can’t remember specifically what,” he added.

It comes as the public inquiry, set up by the NSW government after the RSL’s misuse of charity funds became public, enters its fourth week before Patricia Bergin SC.

Former RSL state president and LifeCare director Don Rowe revealed at the inquiry two weeks ago that consultancy fees for LifeCare directors started at $18,000 per year in 2007. By June 2016 all directors were receiving between $34,303 and $57,172 per year.

The increases were approved by the directors themselves.

As part of normal duties, directors would attend board meetings, serve on committees and attend external events, the inquiry was told.

As specialist consultants, their duties were the same, but they also offered “specialist advice”, White said.

“There was a separation of services delivered,” he said.

But, specific examples were not provided to the inquiry.

Consultancy fees for directors were made available from February 2007, but the inquiry revealed White took it upon himself to receive $18,000 for his services prior to that date.

White says he was providing specialist services from September 2006 but received the fee for the full 2006/07 year.

This was despite not signing any agreement for the services or having the fee approved by the directors.

White conceded he couldn’t justify being paid during that time but insists he thought it was the right thing to do at the time.

“I can’t justify it… but I believed that this would be correct,” he said on Wednesday.

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