Natural selection

FORMER Fremantle and Tangney federal MP John Dawkins, who rose to be treasurer in the Keating government, has been banned from boardrooms for the next two years.

Mr Dawkins faced the ire of securities regulator ASIC over an attempt by training provider Vocation to raise $74 million from investors, without telling them it had lost two of its most lucrative contracts.

Federal court justice John Nicholas noted Mr Dawkins had been mis-fed information by the company’s managing director Mark Hutchinson, amongst others, but didn’t put enough effort in to checking it was legit.

Justice Nicholas said Mr Dawkins didn’t appear to be contrite, with an affidavit he released expressing sorrow for the subsequent collapse of the company not outlining his shortcomings as a director.

But given the former treasurers “distinguished” record of public service and references from luminaries such as Mr Keating and former governor-general Bill Hayden, the justice knocked off half Mr Dawkins’ fine, leaving him $25,000 to pay and a quarter of ASIC’s costs.

Mr Hutchinson was fined $70,000 and banned from company boards for six years and must pay half of ASIC’s costs.

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