Ill-informed and ridiculous

13 Jul 2009

THE assertion that the Indigenous Land Corporation is a “secretive organisation” and does not divest land (“Land council ‘secreting assets”‘, 10/7) is ill-informed and ridiculous.

Every year, the ILC tables in parliament its annual report which details its activities and governance and a 50-page public disclosure of its financial statements. These statements are examined by the Australian National Audit Office and have been unqualified since the ILC’s inception. They are freely available to the public on the ILC website.

For a secretive organisation we obviously can’t keep a secret. Our last five annual reports detail over 3200 formal meetings with indigenous individuals and organisations, government agencies and private sector bodies describing when and where the meetings were held and what was discussed. Which other statutory authority reports in such a transparent manner?

Equally outrageous is the claim that the ILC does not divest land acquired for indigenous people. Since its inception, the ILC has acquired 221 properties in urban, rural and regional Australia and 125 of these have been divested to indigenous groups. Forty more are scheduled in the next two years.

Shirley McPherson
Chairperson, Indigenous Land Corporation 

This letter was published in The Australian 13/7/09.

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