Legislative Council: Thursday, April 11, 2024


Aboriginal Lands Trust

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (14:56): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs about the SA Aboriginal Lands Trust.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: In 2021, the Aboriginal Lands Trust placed the Davenport Community Council, a settlement on the northern fringe of Port Augusta, into administration and appointed an external manager after allegations of mismanagement of services. The DCC was the housing and services provider for the Indigenous community for almost 40 years prior to the announcement.

The SA Aboriginal Lands Trust, which leased the land in Davenport to the DCC, appointed an external manager to take over from the council as the lessee. I believe that arrangement remains in place today. My questions to the minister are:

1. Is the minister aware of reasons why the Davenport Community Council was placed into administration by the Aboriginal Lands Trust?

2. Did any evidence of misappropriation and fraud emerge from the administration?

3. If so, what actions were taken, or are being taken, in relation to these matters?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:57): I thank the honourable member for his question. My understanding is that period of administration has ended, but if that's not the case I am happy to check and come back for the honourable member. From my memory and understanding, and certainly events leading up to the appointment of someone to administer the Davenport Community Council—which as the honourable member has pointed out is land that is vested in the Aboriginal Lands Trust, with a headlease to the Davenport community, as many sites of former missions are right around South Australia.

That happened before this term of government but, as I understand it, there were some concerns raised with things like taking out insurance over buildings that formed part of the estate. As I said, my understanding is that term of administration has come to an end, but I am happy to check if that's incorrect and bring back a reply.