Native title group back from the brink

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button, has today announced the end of the special administration of Kyburra Munda Yalga Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (Kyburra).

Established in 2011, the corporation is based in Townsville, Queensland. The corporation manages the native title rights and interests of the Juru people. In July 2014 and June 2015 consent determinations in the Federal Court recognised the Juru people’s exclusive and non-exclusive native title between the Burdekin River and Bowen, including Cape Upstart and the Elliot River region.

Kyburra was placed under special administration on 18 October 2017 amid serious financial distress and rising complaints about how the corporation was being managed. 

‘The special administration extended for over 12 months mainly due to Kyburra’s limited cash flow to pay for its historical debts,’ said Mr Button.

During the special administration the prospect of liquidation was a real concern. To resolve the corporation’s situation, the special administrators consulted extensively with Juru people and eventually sold a parcel of non-native title land that Kyburra received as part of an Indigenous land use agreement. The special administrators used income from the sale to clear a range of historical debts and bring the corporation back to a solvent position.

Corporations that hold and manage native title are unique corporate entities in that they are accountable to both their members and native title holders. The special administrators worked extensively to engage with corporation members—including updating the corporation’s register of members—as well as common law native title holders.

‘The special administrators are to be praised for their efforts in increasing transparency at Kyburra. A lot can be gained from increasing openness about corporate decision-making,’ Mr Button said.

The corporation is back in the hands of its members with a new board of directors at the helm including independent directors to diversify the team’s perspective and skills.

The Registrar’s office will monitor the corporation over the next 12 months and offer corporate governance training for the corporation’s new directors.

Background

See the Registrar’s previous media release, MR1718-06, Registrar acts to support native title group, 18 October 2017.

Media contact

Lisa Hugg (02) 6146 4738 or 0477 762 290

ORIC MR1819-07

31 December 2018