Chairman steps aside

THE chairman of Victoria's urban renewal authority, Places Victoria, has stepped aside from the role amid a probe by the corporate watchdog that could see him banned from managing companies.

THE chairman of Victoria's urban renewal authority, Places Victoria, has stepped aside from the role amid a probe by the corporate watchdog that could see him banned from managing companies.

Liberal Party stalwart Peter Clarke told The Age the decision to step aside was "of my volition entirely".

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has launched Federal Court action seeking to ban Mr Clarke, former federal health minister Michael Wooldridge and three other men over their actions as directors of retirement village manager Australian Property Custodian Holdings in 2007.

"Frankly, I'm sick of talking to you guys in the media and I'm getting beaten up for everything I believe I'm totally innocent of, and I don't want to distract Places Victoria from their task," he said. "So I've had enough."

Mr Clarke, who was appointed by Premier Ted Baillieu last year without going through a formal selection process, said he was "absolutely sick of being beaten up by The Age at every opportunity".

"I'll step aside until it's all over and then people like you will stop bugging me."

Ken Fehily becomes acting chairman.

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