Geraldton housing corporation under special administration

MR1415-25

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Mr Anthony Beven, has today placed the Murchison Region Aboriginal Corporation under special administration.

The corporation was registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) in 1986.

Based in Geraldton in Western Australia, the corporation owns and manages 121 residential properties located primarily in Geraldton, Carnarvon, Meekatharra, Mullewa and Mount Magnet.

The Registrar’s office conducted an examination in November 2014 after the corporation’s former auditor, Forefront Audit, raised concerns with the Registrar in September 2014 about senior staff borrowing large sums of money.

The examination revealed that a director, some senior staff and members had outstanding loans of over $391,000 owed to the corporation. The examination also revealed serious concerns about the standards of corporate governance and financial management at the corporation.

‘I want to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the daily business of the corporation. Appointing special administrators will allow the corporation to continue its services to the Aboriginal community in the Murchison region while addressing the issues identified in the examination,’ Mr Beven said.

‘Auditors such as Forefront Audit play an important role in protecting the members’ interest. I am pleased that the auditor reported their concerns about the corporation to me.’

Andrew West and Kahsai Tesfa from the South Australian-based firm of Andrew H West and Associates have been appointed as the special administrators of the corporation until 3 September 2015. They will work closely with the members of the corporation to put stronger governance and financial management policies and procedures in place.

Background

Special administration is a special measure under the CATSI Act. For more information see the fact sheet Special administrations: what members and directors should know available at www.oric.gov.au.

Media contact                                              
Patricia Gibson
(02) 6146 4743
ORIC MR1415-25
6 March 2015                                                

Special administrators
Andrew West (0410 553 784)
Kahsai Tesfa (0421 488 586)
Andrew H West and Associates
west.andrew@bigpond.com