Annual Report 2010-2011
Output 5.1 Distributions
All payments received by the CLC with respect to third party use of Aboriginal land are deposited in its Land Use Trust Account. Funds from that account are distributed only in accordance with a decision or determination of the Council.
As a matter of policy, the CLC has, for many years and with few exceptions, distributed funds from that account to Aboriginal associations now incorporated under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).
Funds received pursuant to s.64(3) must be paid to an association.
Pursuant to section 35C recipient associations are required to provide the Land Council with their financial statements and a written report containing the information specified by the section.
There is no statutory mechanism for the Land Council to enforce these reporting requirements other than where payments have been made to an association pursuant to a determination. However, financial statements are now publicly available on the ORATSIA website.
Once the funds have been distributed by the CLC to the recipient associations, the CLC’s Aboriginal Associations Management Centre (AAMC) assists the associations with the management of their corporate and accounting obligations under the CATSI Act, distribution of funds or benefits to or on behalf of their members.
Associations may engage the services of the AAMC on an opt-in basis, subject to agreement on cost recovery arrangements. The CLC’s ongoing role with each association is the subject of a letter of engagement that is confirmed at the AGM.
Aboriginal Associations Management Centre [AAMC]
The Central Land Council’s Aboriginal Associations Management Centre (AAMC) provides administration, accounting, consultation, secretarial, compliance and corporate governance services to incorporated associations that negotiated compensation and other payments arising from the application of the ALRA and the Native Title Act 1993.
The associations are required to convene annual general meetings and to make decisions about the distribution of funds to or for the benefit of their members.
AAMC helps associations to convene their meetings, to maintain an up-to-date register of members (seeking anthropological advice where appropriate), and will administer the funds of the association on its behalf in accordance with the decisions made at the AGM. The AAMC has proven that it is cost effective in providing its services to associations.
Association meetings are held at the communities where the majority of members reside, and AAMC staff attend those locations to assist in the conduct of the meetings.
In 2010-2011 the unit provided assistance to 33 associations.
AAMC also ensures that all associations are GST compliant, arranging all tax and BAS returns as required, as well as the annual audit of each association.
AAMC has a staff of seven comprising three project officers and four accounting staff. During the year the unit assisted associations to convene 33 AGMs and 67 committee and sub committee meetings
In cases of disagreement within the association concerning the allocation of an association’s funds among the members, over eligibility for membership or
even whether a proposed transaction is permitted by the rules of the association, AAMC is able to call upon the services of other parts of the CLC such as the mining, anthropology or legal sections, and where necessary or appropriate, relevant CLC personnel from those areas will attend a meeting to assist the members.
In addition to the administrative assistance it provides to associations, AAMC has been required to administer ceremonial purpose funds that are allocated to the CLC from the ABA. These funds assist with outlays for ceremonies and funerals. During this year funding assistance was provided for 165 funerals.
As part of CLC’s risk management program an independent consultant (Deloitte) was engaged during in 2011 to undertake an ‘administrative review’ of AAMC’s management of Aboriginal Corporations. The main intent of the review brief was to confirm compliance with ORIC requirements, adherence to best practice governance requirements and recommend procedure improvements. The report will be finalised and implemented during 2011/12.
Performed for three incorporated companies.
Land Rights Act
Pursuant to the rules of corporations, AGMs and committee meetings were convened to provide income distribution instructions.
Seven distribution meetings were held for native title holder groups.
In March 2011, the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations attended a Special General Meeting of the Kurra Aboriginal Corporation in Lajamanu to oversee a vote by members in relation to membership of that corporation.