ORIC submissions

Summary

ORIC contributes to law reform and reviews that are relevant to Indigenous organisations. ORIC has made submissions to a number of other reviews including the ATSIC Review.

From 1 May 2008 we are known as the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC). Please note that this site contains information and publications which predate this change, they were published under our previous names, ORAC and ORATSIC.

Review of New South Wales Incorporation Legislation

A review of the New South Wales Associations Incorporation Act 1984 focused on whether that Act could be improved to better respond to the needs of organisations incorporated under the legislation. ORIC (ORAC, as it was known at the time) presented comments on how to respond to the needs of corporations that are not-for-profit, largely volunteer-managed and either publicly funded or not funded at all.

In summary, despite the lack of resources of not-for-profit corporations, their standards of corporate governance are in principle the same as for profit corporations. There is a public interest in ensuring that this essential sector of the Australian corporate environment thrives. Not-for-profit corporations require additional support, especially at critical stages of their development, such as at their establishment or when they are growing.

Review of the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 1966—Consultation Paper

ALT Act 1966 review: On 4 November 2010 the South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, the Hon Grace Portolesi MP released a consultation paper on the review of the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 1966. The Registrar's submission to the review can be downloaded here.

WA Associations Incorporation Bill 2006 - May 2007

The Department of Consumer and Employment Protection (DoCEP) of Western Australia invited the (then) Office of the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations (ORAC) to make submissions on the draft Associations Incorporation Bill 2006 (the Green Bill).

ORAC focused particularly on matters relating to:

  • exclusion from corporations legislation
  • incorporation and transfer of incorporation
  • winding up and cancellation of incorporation
  • certain remedial measures available to the commissioner.

ORAC's only recommendation was to prescribe the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (the CATSI Act) in the Bill's regulations, ensuring that organisations who would become incorporated under the Green Bill could transfer to the CATSI Act if they were eligible.

The ATSIC Review

ORIC (or ORAC as it was then) made a preliminary submission to the government-initiated review of ATSIC and, following the release of the review’s public discussion paper in June 2003, made a further submission.

The final report of the review panel, In the hands of the regions – a new ATSIC, was released in November 2003. Among the recommendations of the review, four concerned the work of ORIC. ORIC’s response to the review can be found below.

ATSIC review submission papers

ATSIC Review Responses

  • Response to Discussion Paper ‘Review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission’ June 2003 http://atsicreview.gov.au/stage2/ORAC%20submission%20030903.doc (The ATSIC review website is no longer available)
  • Response by the Office of the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations (ORAC) (now called the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)) to the Review of ATSIC. ORIC had the opportunity to review the recommendations of the independent Review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) that was presented to the government in November 2003. ORIC’s response is below.

The Queensland Community Governance Green Paper

The Registrar was invited to comment on the Queensland Community Governance Green Paper. The paper raised a number of key governance issues relevant to the principles of effective governance in Indigenous communities and councils; in particular Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) communities in Queensland. Many groups incorporated under the CATSI Act operate in DOGIT areas.

The governance under review in the Green Paper is community governance, which should not be confused with corporate governance: the laws and practices are different in many respects. However, ORIC (ORAC, as it was known at the time) noted that there are and always will be important interactions between councils operating in Queensland and corporations incorporated under the ACA Act (repealed in 2006 and replaced with the CATSI Act).

In our response, we emphasised that private corporations such as those under the ACA Act would be a feature of the Indigenous corporate landscape and would need to be considered in any reform work. Off-loading council responsibilities onto other corporations that also lack capacity to manage them is not a solution. We stressed that any improvement in governance would call for commitment and cooperation between Board members, community members, creditors, auditors, funding agencies, regulators and governments.

House of Representatives Standing Committee Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs – on Capacity Building submission

Senate Select Committee on the Administration of Indigenous Affairs