OUTPUT GROUP 5 • ADMINISTRATION & SUPPORT services
The Central Land Council aims to provide Aboriginal landowners with information, advice and support to enable them to manage their land in a sustainable and productive way.
Output 5.1 Distributions
Administer and distribute statutory, negotiated and other payments as appropriate to the traditional owners and other clients of the Central Land Council.
All payments received for third-party use of Aboriginal land are deposited in the Land Use Trust Account (LUTA). Funds from LUTA are distributed only in accordance with a Council decision. The policy for many years, and with few exceptions, is that distributed funds from LUTA to Aboriginal associations now incorporated under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (the CATSI Act). Funds received pursuant to s.64 (3) must be paid to a ‘CATSI’ corporation.
Pursuant to s.35C of the Land Rights Act, recipient corporations are required to provide the CLC with their financial statements and a written report containing the information specified. There isn’t a statutory mechanism for the CLC to enforce these reporting requirements other than where payments have been made to a corporation pursuant to a determination. However, financial statements are publicly available on the ORIC website.
When the funds have been distributed to the recipient corporations, the CLC’s Aboriginal Associations Management Centre (AAMC) assists the corporations with the administration of their corporate and accounting obligations under the CATSI Act, and distribution of funds or benefits to or on behalf of their members.
Corporations 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 corporation is agreed in a letter of engagement confirmed at each annual general meeting.
Details of compliance to the CATSI Act and governance are provided below.
Annual general meetings and directors’ meetings held and income distribution instructions taken
Directors’ meetings held
Income distribution instruction meetings held
Corporations’ statutory financial statements to be lodged with ORIC
The leasing of Aboriginal land continues to generate a significant amount of income for traditional Aboriginal landowners. Leasing income that traditional Aboriginal landowners have instructed be applied for the benefit of the community is incorporated into existing plans and priorities facilitated by the CLC’s Community Development Unit. The AAMC manages the distribution of leasing income when instructed that this money be applied for the benefit of the traditional Aboriginal landowners. Six leasing distribution meetings were administered by AAMC during the 2015–16 financial year.
The CLC prepared a total of 62 traditional owner identification (TOId) reports to assist with instructions for distribution meetings. Of these, nine TOIds were for the purpose of obtaining standing instructions for the ongoing distribution of rent from s.19 leases over communities on Aboriginal land, and included meeting advice and assistance. Four were for the distribution of payments for gravel extraction, and 48 were for exploration and mining related compensation.