South Australia's parliament will inquire into Aboriginal corporations

CAMPAIGNERS: 'Tiger' McKenzie and Cheryl Coulthard-Waye, both of Port Augusta, have campaigned for an inquiry into Aboriginal corporations including the locally-based Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association.
CAMPAIGNERS: 'Tiger' McKenzie and Cheryl Coulthard-Waye, both of Port Augusta, have campaigned for an inquiry into Aboriginal corporations including the locally-based Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association.
ACTION: South Australian Premier Steven Marshall instigated the inquiry.

ACTION: South Australian Premier Steven Marshall instigated the inquiry.

An inquiry is being launched into South Australia's Aboriginal corporations after a long campaign by reform leaders that has been covered extensively by Australian Community Media, publisher of this newspaper.

Indigenous leaders have called for an investigation for more than a year and now it has materialised in the form of a standing committee inquiry set up by the South Australian parliament at the instigation of Premier Steven Marshall.

The inquiry will look at "governance" on Aboriginal lands, but the leaders expect it will cover financial aspects of the operation of corporations set up under Native Title.

This newspaper, published by Australian Community Media, has reported on calls by indigenous reform leaders for such an investigation and can now exclusively reveal that it will take place.

It falls short of the royal commission originally sought by the Aboriginal Reform Group of South Australia, but will have wide-ranging powers.

The inquiry is to be conducted by the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee of the parliament's Legislative Council.

Hearings are expected to be held at country centres including Port Augusta and Whyalla.

The committee comprises Labor's Whyalla-based Giles MP Eddie Hughes, the Greens' Tammy Franks, Labor's Kyam Maher and the Liberals' Fraser Ellis, Matt Cowdrey and Terry Stephens.

The decision comes after mounting concerns in the Aboriginal community about governance and activities in indigenous organisations.

The Premier, who is also Aboriginal Affairs Minister, recognised the "empowerment" of communities to manage their own affairs.

His preference was to seek improvements to governance.

Terms of reference for the inquiry are believed to have been determined.

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