The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today placed a south coast health service under special administration.
The Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Services, based in Narooma on the far south coast of New South Wales, delivers services to thousands of people from 44 Aboriginal communities between Ulladulla and the Victorian border. The corporation focuses on providing culturally appropriate health care and lifestyle education.
In September 2011 the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) conducted a review of the corporation. ‘The findings of the OATSIH review are well known in the community and few would be surprised that the findings also drew attention from my office,’ Mr Beven said.
‘My office completed its own examination of the corporation’s books last month which confirmed the findings of the OATSIH review,’ Mr Beven added. ‘Disputes among the directors and poor financial decisions have put the corporation in a precarious position and it is clear a lot of work needs to be done to get the corporation back on a stable footing.’
Mr Alan Eldridge from the Wagga Wagga-based firm, Australian Indigenous Business Services Pty Ltd, has been appointed as the special administrator. Mr Eldridge will work closely with the corporation’s members, funding agencies and key stakeholders to re-establish governance standards and proper financial management. He will also investigate whether there have been any breaches of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).
‘Today we have taken the first step in getting Katungul back on track. The process may take some months but I don’t expect that there will be any disruption to health services,’ said Mr Beven. ‘It is most important the corporation is able to continue its good work of providing medical care to communities on the south coast.’
Background: Special administration is a special measure under the CATSI Act which helps corporations to fix their problems. The aim of the process is to restore a corporation to good health and once this is achieved to return control to members as soon as possible. For more information please see ORIC’s fact sheet Special administrations: what members and directors should know available at www.oric.gov.au.
12 December 2011
(02) 6219 7645
Ref: ORIC MR1112-15
(02) 6921 4955
0427 205 771