The Queensland Community Governance Green Paper

The Registrar was invited to comment on the Queensland Community Governance Green Paper. The paper raised a number of key governance issues relevant to the principles of effective governance in Indigenous communities and councils; in particular Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) communities in Queensland. Many groups incorporated under the CATSI Act operate in DOGIT areas.

The governance under review in the Green Paper is community governance, which should not be confused with corporate governance: the laws and practices are different in many respects. However, ORIC (ORAC, as it was known at the time) noted that there are and always will be important interactions between councils operating in Queensland and corporations incorporated under the ACA Act (repealed in 2006 and replaced with the CATSI Act).

In our response, we emphasised that private corporations such as those under the ACA Act would be a feature of the Indigenous corporate landscape and would need to be considered in any reform work. Off-loading council responsibilities onto other corporations that also lack capacity to manage them is not a solution. We stressed that any improvement in governance would call for commitment and cooperation between Board members, community members, creditors, auditors, funding agencies, regulators and governments.