Mt Liebig corporation returned to members

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, announced today that control of the Amundurrngu Mt Liebig Community Store (Aboriginal Corporation) will be handed back to its members.

The corporation owns and manages the store in the remote community of Mt Liebig which is approximately 260 kilometres west of Alice Springs.

On 21 October 2009 Mr Tony Grieves, from the Canberra-based firm of WalterTurnbull, was appointed as special administrator. This followed an examination of the corporation’s books and records which revealed non-compliance with the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) and breaches of the corporation’s own rules. Ongoing disputes among members and directors had also adversely affected the governance of the corporation.

In his first report, the special administrator advised that the audited financial statements showed the store had incurred a trading loss of $78,425 for the 2009 financial year, and that the store continued to trade unprofitably during the first part of 2009–10. There was also concern over the store’s limited range of stock.

‘The special administrator commissioned an independent review of the store’s operation which was completed in December 2009,’ said Mr Beven. ‘The report made a number of recommendations aimed at improving food security, range of stock, trading hours, management practices and financial controls.’

On 20 March 2010, shortly before Outback Stores were to take over management, community members informed the special administrator that they did not support the arrangement. Their preference was to retain the long-term store manager. The special administrator accepted the community’s position.

The community store’s non-compliance matters have since been addressed. In addition, the special administrator has reviewed and amended the corporation’s rule book. Modifications include not only the special administrator’s changes but also those made by members at the corporation’s last annual general meeting.

Mr Beven confirmed that ORIC will run corporate governance training for the corporation’s members. This is part of the Registrar’s aim to build strong corporations, strong people and strong communities.

Background
Special administration is a special measure under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006. For more information see the Registrar’s fact sheet Special administrations: what members and directors should know.

Contacts

Sayuri Piper on (02) 6219 7658          
31 May 2010
ORIC MR 0910-31