Failure to report leads to fines of $8,600

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has finalised prosecutions against eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations for failing to lodge annual reports for the 2014–15 year. The prosecutions were for various reporting offences under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act) 2006.

Four of the corporations were ordered to pay fines ranging from $500 to $5000—collectively amounting to $8,600. Offences were proven against a further three corporations and they were dismissed without penalty. The eighth case was withdrawn from court on the condition that the corporation apply to the Registrar for deregistration.

The matters were prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

The CATSI Act emphasises the importance of compliance and reporting as a mechanism to improve transparency and accountability. There are no filing fees to lodge documents with the Registrar and in recent years the Registrar has significantly reduced the reporting obligations for corporations.

For the past seven years, over 95 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations have been compliant with their reporting obligations. Each year, the Registrar refers non-compliant corporations to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

‘Failing to lodge annual reports jeopardises the corporation,’ said Mr Beven. ‘The effects of such failures can extend well beyond the corporation and its own reputation.’

Annual reports indicate to the Registrar as well as members and other stakeholders that the corporation is functioning as it should be. Each report also contributes to the authority and integrity of the public Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.

Background

A list of the latest convictions for failing to lodge reports is below. A complete list of all the Registrar’s prosecution outcomes is available at oric.gov.au/prosecution-outcomes.

Corporation

State

Court

Date of conviction

Outcome

Koorana Aboriginal Corporation (ICN 4663)

NSW

Toronto Local Court

17/02/2017

Fined $2500

Southern Regional Indigenous Corporation (ICN 8098)

NSW

Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney

4/4/2017

Fined $5000

Aputula Homelands Aboriginal Corporation (ICN 1724)

NT

Alice Springs

24/4/2017

Charge withdrawn on condition the corporation file an application for deregistration with ORIC

Euraba Paper Aboriginal Corporation (ICN 3791)

NSW

Boggabilla

6/6/2017

Charge proven but discharged without conviction under s. 19B Crimes Act 1914

Meenah Mienne Aboriginal Corporation (ICN 7417)

TAS

Launceston

13/6/2017

Convicted and released without sentence under s. 20(1)(a) Crimes Act 1914.

Ordered to file the general report and complete deregistration within three months.

West Coast Aboriginal Corporation (ICN 1984)

TAS

Burnie

14/6/2017

Fined $500

Bidwell-Maap Aboriginal Corporation (ICN 7470)

VIC

Bairnsdale

21/6/2017

Charge proven but discharged without conviction under s. 19B Crimes Act 1914

Jukanyula Aboriginal Corporation For Childrens Enrichment (ICN 1073)

QLD

Bundaberg

21/9/2017

Fined $600

Media contact

Lisa Hugg
02 6146 4738

ORIC MR1718-09
26 October 2017