20 April 2016 

Due diligence needed on unsolicited business proposals

 

Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) are being urged to consider adopting guidelines to handle unsolicited proposals from third parties offering services and business opportunities. 

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is aware of a number of LALCs being approached by third parties offering unsolicited proposals that sound too good to be true. 

It's not uncommon for LALCs to receive unsolicited proposals of this nature and history has shown us that they are not always in the best interests of our network. 

Unsolicited proposals targeted at LALCs are often based on economic development and business opportunities, particularly in relation to the mapping and development of land. 

We encourage LALCs to consider adopting a clear, open and transparent process to ensure your interests are protected. 

It is critical that LALCs carry out due diligence on all unsolicited proposals. 

Carrying out due diligence helps ensure that goods and services being offered by third party service providers - or other proposals such as 99-year leases - are transparent and consistent with the interests of LALC members, not the third party. 

Due diligence also helps LALCs mitigate risks and evaluate whether the services and goods offered provide real value for money. Remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Collectively, the Land Rights network manages significant assets on behalf of Aboriginal communities across New South Wales. 

All LALCs have an obligation to manage these assets responsibly for future generations. NSWALC encourages LALCs to ensure they have the proper guidelines and processes in place to ensure any unsolicited proposals from third parties are thoroughly evaluated and protect our hard-fought gains. 

If your LALC has any enquiries about land development proposals or other business development opportunities, please contact NSWALC's Legal Services Unit or the Economic Development Unit on 02 9689 4444.