Victorian Land Council under special administration

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Mr Anthony Beven, has today placed the Bunurong Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation) under special administration.

The corporation is based in Gembrook, Victoria, which is just over 50 kilometres southeast of Melbourne. It lists among its primary activities:

  • managing Bunurong native title business
  • supporting all Bunurong people in achieving their cultural and customary obligations and aspirations
  • researching, rehabilitating, managing and protecting ecosystems, areas and objects that are of significance to the Bunurong people.

‘In response to a number of complaints from members about the corporation my office conducted an examination of the corporation’s books and records,’ said Mr Beven. ‘Following this examination some serious concerns have come to my attention.’

The examiners found that the corporation had not maintained proper membership records and had not held an annual general meeting since 2004. In addition, only one directors’ meeting has been held in the past five years. The examiners also reported that the corporation’s financial accounts and records were in disarray and that this had been the case for some years.

The Registrar has appointed Mr Alan Eldridge from the Wagga Wagga-based firm Australian Indigenous Business Services (AIBS) as the special administrator until 30 June 2014.

‘This corporation was established in 2002 to represent and manage the native title interests of the Bunurong people,’ said Mr Beven. ‘This is a very important role and the Bunurong people want their corporation fixed so it can continue to fulfil this role. The special administrator has been tasked to put the corporation’s affairs back in order as soon as possible.’

Background

Special administration is a special measure under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006. For more information see the fact sheet Special administrations: what members and directors should know available on the ORIC website: www.oric.gov.au.

Media contact

Patricia Gibson
(02) 6146 4743
ORIC MR1314-24
28 January 2014

Special administrator

Alan Eldridge
Australian Indigenous Business Services (AIBS)
Phone: (02) 6971 0710
Email: alan.eldridge@eldridge.com.au