Investigation finally into Native Title group

EXCITED: Cheryl Coulthard-Waye and Charlie Jackson, both of Port Augusta, are excited that a financial investigation will be launched into the Adnyamathanha corporation.
EXCITED: Cheryl Coulthard-Waye and Charlie Jackson, both of Port Augusta, are excited that a financial investigation will be launched into the Adnyamathanha corporation.

As calls mount for a judicial inquiry into Australia's Native Title industry, a corporation representing an indigenous clan in Port Augusta is set to undergo a "forensic audit".

In their most far-reaching statement to date on the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association, the group's federally-appointed special administrators have outlined major changes to directorships, organisational structures and transparency.

As part of the reforms, the special administrators, lawyers Bevan Mailman and Brian Bero, have called for tenders for a forensic audit of the association.

This comes on top of a police investigation into payments made in connection with the association and its related entities. At the centre of the controversy are millions of dollars in royalty payments to the association from the Beverley uranium mine in outback South Australia.

Adnyamathanha people Charlie Jackson, an elder, and Cheryl Coulthard-Waye welcomed this week's developments and thanked ACM's Port Augusta newspaper The Transcontinental for its coverage of their campaign for action through the Aboriginal Reform Group of South Australia.

"I want nothing less than the truth," Mr Jackson said. "I believe in transparency, accountability and truth. Some of the third and fourth-generation members of our community may not know what is going on."

Ms Coulthard-Waye said the special administrators' decisions brought "a sigh of relief".

"I am on top of the world," she said. "The Adnyamathanha have seen how everything will be set up for a new association and will reckon that is the best set-up ever.

"I am proud of The Transcontinental for their stories about our situation. You did 20 years' work within 12 months. You all need a good bloody pat on the back. You never once gave up on us." The special administrators, whose three-month term was extended by the Canberra-based Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, formed an advisory group to help with their work. Members include former Swans' AFL Brownlow Medallist and Adnyamathanha man Adam Goodes.

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