NSW: Aboriginal land council accused of theft and fraud

Among Aborigines, obligations to relatives far outweigh obedience to whitefella's law. So results like the one alluded to below are routine

Authorities are investigating allegations of theft and fraud at the Wellington Local Aboriginal Land Council. The Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Paul Lynch, has appointed an administrator to take over the organisation for the second time in two years.

Wagga based administrator, Andrew Bowcher, appointed a new board and Chief Executive in 2009. However he says in the past year the organisation has deteriorated.

"The Wellington Aboriginal Land Council unfortunately has for a period of months not been functioning," he said. "They haven't had their doors open, they haven't been able to have regular meetings and get the land council sort of moving. "There's been some allegations of some theft and fraud which we've got to work through as well."

Mr Bowcher says a meeting will be held with members next week to consider the council's financial position and the whereabouts of books and records. "It does seem like there are accounts owing and I'd encourage any creditor or anyone who is owed money by the land council to contact us," he said. "It is important that we get a good position of what is outstanding out there and the quantum of that as well."


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