Mamu native title corporation handed back to people, culture and country

MR1516-05

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today announced the end of the special administration at the Mamu Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC.

Based in Innisfail, Far North Queensland, the corporation administers land on behalf of the Mamu people. In a determination made on 1 November 2013 their exclusive native title rights were recognised over approximately 7,546 hectares of land and non-exclusive native title rights over about 64,000 hectares of traditional land stretching from Cooper Point in the north to Maria Creek in the south of Far North Queensland.

Gerry Mier and Tony Jonsson from the Cairns-based firm of Grant Thornton were appointed as special administrators on 3 March 2015 after the directors sought the Registrar’s help to resolve some financial and governance problems.

The special administrators established an advisory group and a native title referral committee, consisting of traditional owners, to guide their work. In conjunction with the advisory group the special administrators made some important changes to the rule book to align it with the native title determination, including eligibility for membership. The North Queensland Land Council provided valuable assistance on this complex issue.

The special administrators put in place arrangements with the corporation’s creditors to either repay or defer repayment of corporation debts totalling almost $90,000.

A new board of five directors appointed from the Mamu ancestor groups (Waribarra, Dugulbarra, Bagirbarra, Wabubarra (Mandubarra) and Dyirribarra) will now take control of the corporation. The incoming directors met last week and elected Nathanael Edwards as the chair of the corporation.

‘Managing native title rights is a huge responsibility. It is important that the directors provide the leadership required to protect and advance the welfare of traditional owners and the corporate and financial health of the corporation,’ Mr Beven said.

The Registrar will monitor the corporation closely for the next 12 months and corporate governance training will be provided to the new directors as soon as possible.

Background

For further information see the Registrar’s media release of 3 March 2015 (ORIC MR1415-24).

Media contact

Christa de Jager
(02) 6146 4737
ORIC MR1516-05
4 September 2015