Now that the corporate plod has successfully jailed Rodney Adler, can we dwell a little more on the rather strange relationship between the family behind that 30-year rolling corporate sleaze factory called FAI and Tony Hartnell, the first chairman of ASIC after the states handed over the corporations power in 1990?

It has been fairly widely reported that Hartnell was one of the 14 character referees produced by Rodney at his recent sentencing hearings. But the relationship goes back a lot further than this. When Peter Denton’s biography of Rodney’s dad, From Cabbie to Chairman: Larry Adler and the Story of FAI, was launched in 1991, who wrote the glowing forward and spoke at the launch? None other than then ASC chairman Tony Hartnell.

This was curious, because Hartnell had created considerable trouble for himself in September 1990 by naming 16 companies on the hit list of ASIC with its hugely expanded $130 million budget. The names were as follows: Bond Corp, Rothwells, Spedley, Qintex, Independent Resources, Estate Mortgage, Linter group, Hooker, Equiticorp, Entity/APA, Girvan, Duke Group, MetroGrowth Property Trust, Budget, Interwest, and Underwater Systems.

Many thought that FAI, with its various dodgy dealings with Alan Bond over the years, should have been on it. Instead, the Adlers were on another list – acceptable associates for the cleanskin corporate plod.

If anyone can better explain the perplexing links between Tony Hartnell and the Adler family, please email [email protected]

Peter Fray

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