The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today placed the Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation (Jamukurnu-Yapalikunu) RNTBC (WDLAC) under special administration.
WDLAC was incorporated on 17 April 2003 and is registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (the CATSI Act).
On 27 September 2002 the Federal Court of Australia awarded the Martu people exclusive use, occupation, possession and control over 136,000 square kilometres of land in Western Australia. On 17 July 2003 the Federal Court of Australia recognised WDLAC as the registered native title body corporate (RNTBC) for the Martu people to hold and manage their native title rights and interests.
WDLAC’s registered office is located in Perth, Western Australia. The corporation has 1,020 registered members and sixteen directors. The directors are representatives from six sub-groups of members who according to law and custom represent the six areas of country within the determination area—Karlamyingurrara, Ngayunanalku, Pilakaja, Pitijikarli, Rirrakaja and Walakaja.
‘In January this year my office conducted an examination of the corporation,’ Mr Beven said. ‘The examination revealed that WDLAC has had some deficiencies in its governance and financial performance since 1 July 2013.’
The Registrar has appointed Jack James and Paula Cowan from Palisade Business Consulting Pty Ltd based in Western Australia as the special administrators until 15 January 2016.
‘Directors of a native title body have a special duty of care and diligence to responsibly manage the corporation and its finances in the interests of its members. WDLAC is an important native title body and should have high standards of corporate governance in place.’
The special administrators will work closely with the members of WDLAC and its stakeholders to resolve the challenges facing the corporation.
Special administration is a special measure under the CATSI Act. For more information see the Registrar’s fact sheet Special administrations: what members and directors should know available at www.oric.gov.au.
Christa de Jager
(02) 6146 4737
13 July 2015
Jack James and Paula Cowan
Palisade Business Consulting Pty Ltd
(08) 9328 6262