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Victoria government pushes back Crown inquiry deadline

| By Nosa Omoigui
The Government of the Australian state of Victoria has extended its time frame to complete a Royal Commission which will determine whether Crown Melbourne can hold a licence in the state.

The initial August deadline has been pushed to 15 October 2021. Crown said it remains fully co-operative in relation to the Royal Commission, chaired by Raymond Finkelstein QC.

Crown’s executive chairman Helen Coonan said: “As Executive Chairman, I have made clear that any shortcomings identified by the Royal Commissions will be addressed. The Board and I are committed to making Crown a stronger, more transparent and respected company.
“We have initiated a sweeping program of significant reforms, enhancements and personnel changes. We cannot change the past, but we can be absolutely steadfast in the approach we take to driving the culture and transparency of the company into the future”.

The state government first announced its investigation into Crown in February, following a New South Wales enquiry that found Crown unsuitable for a license in Barangaroo.

The New South Wales scandal – which found that Crown facilities and accounts were being used for money laundering and raised questions about work with junkets that had ties to criminal groups – led to the resignation of Crown’s former chief executive Ken Barton in February, with further senior resignations following.

Coonan then took over as executive chairman, filling Barton’s role while continuing to serve as chair of the board of directors, until a permanent chief executive can be appointed.

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