City Hub

The money you never knew you had

BY LUCAS BAIRD

There’s $218 million sitting in a NSW Government bank account, and it could belong to you. Well, at least some of it, anyhow.

A Greens MP has claimed that a public awareness campaign should be created to ensure people are aware of unclaimed funds.

Greens Member for Balmain, Jamie Parker, told City Hub he was “astounded” that the Office of State Revenue (OSR) had managed to accumulate around $218 million in unclaimed funds from deceased estates, dividends and other sources.

“It is a matter of people being aware that the unclaimed money has been forwarded to the OSR,” Mr Parker said.

Mr Parker indicated that funds for an awareness campaign would be easily found from several years worth of accumulated interest.

“An ongoing public awareness campaign could be easily funded from a percentage of the interest earned on the unclaimed money by the OSR,” he said.

“Once forwarded to the OSR, the pooled funds of over $200 million would attract enough interest to cover administration expenses for maintaining the register, processing claims and public awareness advertising.”

“The money should remain available for claim by the rightful owner,” he said.

Mr Parker said that despite the possibility of funding resources for schools and hospitals if the money was uncollected, the money should remain open for the rightful owner to collect.

The OSR last publicised the unclaimed money on the last Monday of January.

They asserted that the money had accumulated because private enterprises and government agencies had been unable to locate the owners.

Minister for Finance Dominic Perrottet urged businesses and families to check to see if some of the money is theirs.

“OSR’s website is easy to navigate, and the unclaimed money search facility is free, so it’s well worth having a look,” Mr Perrottet said.

“If it’s your money, you’re entitled to claim it,” he said.

City Hub reached out to the OSR to see if they were considering a public awareness campaign, but they did not get back in time for publishing.