The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation in the Northern Territory has taken out the number one spot in a list of Australia’s top 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations.
The list, released this month, was prepared by the federal government’s Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and compares the performance of corporations based on income for the 2014-15 financial year.
It does not rank on profit.
For that period, ALPAC generated income of $88.9 million and had assets of $60.8 million, according to the report. It was up on its previous ranking of third.
Owned by the Yolngu residents of Minjilang, Ramingining, Milingimbi, Gapuwiyak and Galiwin’ku, the corporation began life in the early 1970s as a co-op of small counter stores in tin sheds, and now offers full self-service air-conditioned facilities and employs 368 people.
Ranked second on the list was the Alice Springs-headquartered Ngaanyatjarra Services Aboriginal Corporation which provides services from building to health and even a camel mustering and selling arm.
It reported income for the period of $65.3 million and remained steady at number two.
The Northern Territory’s biggest community-controlled health organisation, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Corporation, moved up two notches to rank third with income of $39.2 million.
And fourth and fifth spots went to the NT Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation ($34.5 million) — it began as a small fuel operator but now operates everything from cultural tours to accommodation, aged care, car hire and a nursery — and the Kimberley Land Council Aboriginal Corporation in WA ($33.5 million).
The Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation in WA is understood to have come in at sixth place.
The report said the combined income of the top 500 corporations was $1.88 billion, up from $1.74 billion the previous year. They had 11,095 full time employees, a 5.3 percent drop, while 19 of the top 20 corporations had businesses focused in the NT (11) or WA (eight).
Health and community services were the most common sector in the top 20 — 13 corporations reported operating in the sector. Six corporations operated in construction.
The mining boom hit corporations in WA’s Pilbara where the average income for corporations fell by $1.2 million. The figure compared to a $284,751 rise for the average top 500 corporations.
Western New South Wales saw the biggest percentage increases in income. Its 15 corporations had an average income of $3.4 million, a rise of 22.5 percent.
The Gulf and North Queensland had the biggest falls. Its 20 corporations had an average income of $1.6 million, down 13.5 percent.
NT, WA and Queensland corporations had the most income, assets and total equity.
Meanwhile, Australia’s 144 Registered Native Title Bodies had a combined income for the year of $112 million — almost double the previous year.