Reform of Thalanyji people's corporation ongoing

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button, has today extended the special administration of the Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (BTAC) until 16 October 2020. Mr Peter Saunders will continue as the special administrator.

BTAC serves the rights and interests of Thalanyji people in a large area in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It has been in special administration since 13 January 2020 due to a poor standard of engagement with members as well as failures to hold annual general meetings and report on finances. Once the special administrator had full access to all the accounts, he confirmed that the corporation’s financial position was also very poor.

‘Restoring BTAC to good financial health remains a work-in-progress. Given the current position, it would not be in the best interests of the members to appoint a new board and hand back control to the members’, Mr Button said. ‘BTAC still has considerable debt from before the special administration, so the corporation is in dire need of a significant cash injection to repay its creditors. The special administrator is exploring options such as selling surplus real estate and cattle.’

The special administrator has appointed a new chief executive officer, Ric West, to the corporation. During the next three months, the special administrator will work closely with him to restore balance to the finances and prepare for members to resume control of their corporation.

Previously, BTAC excluded subsidiaries from its financial reports to ORIC. Further, at the time of the special administrator’s appointment, BTAC had not lodged its audited financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2019. The special administrator has resolved both issues, and consolidated financial reports for 2019 will soon be audited and available to members.

Background

See the Registrar’s previous media release, Special administrator to assist a large native title corporation, 13 January (MR1920-09)

Media contact

Catherine Styles
0438 087 736

ORIC MR 2021-04
17 July 2020