The Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation has been placed under special administration as a result of ‘serious governance concerns’.
The Lismore-based corporation was set up to administer land on behalf of the Githabul people, whose native title rights were recognized by the Federal Court in 2007.
The court recognized the Githabul people’s native title rights and interests over 1,120 square kilometres of land spread across nine national parks and 13 state forests in northern New South Wales.
The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, yesterday announced that Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC had been placed under special administration.
Mr Beven said the decision to appoint an administrator followed numerous complaints about the way the corporation was conducting its affairs.
‘Following an examination of the corporation’s books and records some serious governance concerns have come to light,’ Mr Beven said.
The examiner’s report revealed that the corporation had not maintained accurate membership records, it has not held an annual general meeting within the required timeframe for over three years, and it has not kept proper financial records.
The last time it lodged an annual return was for the year ended 30 June 2012.
Mr Beven has appointed Mr Peter McQuoid from the Brisbane-based firm of PDM Consultancy as the special administrator for a period of six months.
‘This corporation was established to manage the native title rights of the Githabul people and to represent their interests,’ said Mr Beven.
‘These are important responsibilities and for this reason I want to see the special administrator help the corporation put its affairs back in order as soon as possible.’
Githabul elder Rob Williams told the ABC that the administrator could have a positive influence.
‘I believe that Githabul is going to come back better and strong, I believe that,’ he said.
‘But it’s going to be done properly, it’s going to be done the right way.
‘The first and foremost (thing) he needs to do is come and introduce himself to the Githabul people.
‘Who is he?
‘When’s he going to be starting?
‘Then at least it’s going to be an open dialogue.’