Peak Aboriginal body welcomes ICAC findings

Peak Aboriginal body welcomes ICAC findings
September 28, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has welcomed the findings and recommendations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption's report into corrupt dealings within the Wagonga Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The ICAC released the report late yesterday, after a lengthy inquiry assisted by NSWALC earlier this year. NSWALC is the peak body for the state's 119 Local Aboriginal Land Councils. CEO of NSWALC, Geoff Scott said he was pleased with the ICAC report, and highlighted its importance to both government and the NSW Aboriginal land rights network.

"Whilst the events and circumstances which were the subject of the ICAC investigations were extremely disappointing, it was very pleasing from NSWALC's perspective that ICAC found that the policies and procedures in place at NSWALC worked effectively to frustrate and prevent any improper outcomes. The system works." he said.

"These processes and procedures were managed and implemented with diligence by NSWALC staff, in particular Mr Spicer and Ms Julie Van Agten, and their good work should not go unnoticed."

"The findings and recommendations should be acted upon in a timely fashion to ensure that these matters are brought to a conclusion as soon as practicable."

Mr Scott also welcomed the recommendations from the ICAC, which recognised that in order for NSWALC to continue to effectively carry out its functions, resourcing issues needed to be addressed by the NSW Government.

"Importantly, the recommendations from the ICAC recognised the resource implications of a proper, informed and comprehensive regulatory system and the need for adequate penalties in these circumstances.

"We welcome these very pertinent facts. They have been ignored in recent years.

"NSWALC looks forward to discussions with the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello.

"It will be the first time we've been able to discuss these very important and vital resource anomalies."

Mr Scott also recommended the report as "essential reading" to all Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

Media contact: Chris Munro, 0438 760 242