ATLA structure a labyrinth

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button, has again extended the special administration of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (Aboriginal Corporation) RNTBC (ATLA). It is now set to end on 18 December 2020.

Claims for native title on behalf of the Adnyamathanha people were first filed in the Federal Court during the late 1990s. Later in 2001 ATLA incorporated to assist manage those claims. In 2009 when the court determined that native title exists, the corporation became the prescribed body corporate to look after the native title rights and interests for the Adnyamathanha people. Over the years there have been seven determinations made about native title rights and interests of the Adnyamathanha people, covering 41,000 square kilometres of land in and around the Flinders Ranges.

ATLA was placed under special administration on 26 March 2020 after an examination of the books of the corporation revealed a range of governance issues, including a lack of records for meetings, memberships, directorships and spending.

‘The special administrators have uncovered an intricate network of related entities and interests within the ATLA corporate structure. The lack of record keeping has made it difficult for the special administrators to determine why some of these entities were created or even how they came to be,’ said Mr Button. ‘It’s unclear if members even knew of the existence of some entities.’

The extension of time will allow the special administrators to work through the complexities of the group structure and look for efficiencies. They will also explore future opportunities to benefit the Adnyamathanha people such as increasing employment by establishing a procurement committee to pursue contracting activities for Adnyamathanha businesses. 

Mr Bevan Mailman and Mr Brian Bero from Jaramer Legal will continue as the special administrators. 

Background

See the Registrar’s previous releases:

Media contact

Lisa Hugg, 0477 762 290, lisa.hugg@oric.gov.au 

ORIC MR2021-08
25 September 2020