Registrar acts on Gunaikurnai’s $500,000 loss

Anthony Beven

The Gunaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation in Victoria has been placed in special administration after reporting a loss of close to $500,000.

The announcement was made on Monday by Registrar of Indigenous Corporations Anthony Beven.

“In August 2016, my office conducted an examination of GLaWAC and found that the corporation had made a loss of almost $500,000 in 2015–16,” Mr Beven said.

“The loss arose as a result of inadequate financial controls and strategies to address loss-making activities.

“Internal disputes had also distracted the directors and senior management from dealing with the key issues facing the corporation.”

GLaWAC manages native title rights and interests for the Gunaikurnai people.

It is based near Lakes Entrance in Victoria and has more than 600 members from five family clan groups.

Peter McQuoid, of PDM Consultancy, has been appointed special administrator for six months from Monday.

Mr Beven said GLaWAC directors had written to him supporting the appointment of a special administrator.

“The special administration will provide an opportunity for the native title holders to work with the administrator to reform and restructure GLaWAC,” he said.

The Gunaikurnai people were recognised as the traditional owners of 13,829 hectares of land in the Gippsland region by the Federal Court in 2010.

At the same time the Victorian Government entered into an agreement with the Gunaikurnai people for the joint management of 10 parks and reserves in Gippsland and rights for Gunaikurnai people to conduct traditional activities on Crown land.

Only one other corporation is currently in administration. The Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation in the Northern Territory, which delivers community services, was placed in special administration in June.

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