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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3459

(Question No. 1478)


Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 11 November 1986:

(1) Who bears the responsibility for honouring financial commitments, such as contracts, entered into by community advisors or similar office-holders in Aboriginal communities.

(2) If a community becomes insolvent, who is liable to meet its outstanding debts.

(3) Can the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs confirm that the Kalka Aboriginal community, has run up debts in the vicinity of $100,000.

(4) Who is to bear the liability for meeting these debts.

(5) What measures have been taken to see that the debts are paid.

(6) When can creditors expect to receive payment.

(7) In relation to the specific case of a building contractor who is owed almost $37,000 for the construction of housing for the community, what advice has this person received, and from whom, indicating to him, when he can expect repayment.


Senator Ryan —The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The corporate body representing The Community.

(2) The corporate body representing The Community.

(3) Yes.

(4) The community at Kalka is an unincorporated body. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs has customarily paid grants for the benefit of the community at Kalka to the Pitjantjatjara Council Incorporated. The prime extent and nature of responsibilities for the debts of the community at Kalka are matters to be determined by the community and the Pitjantjatjara Council Incorporated.

(5) The Department of Aboriginal Affairs is now paying all its grant monies for the benefit of the community at Kalka into a trust account. Active measures have been adopted whereby the community is required to trade out of its deficit as soon as possible.

(6) It is hoped that payments to creditors will have commenced by March 1987, and that they can expect to have been satisfied in full by 30 June 1987.

(7) In relation to the specific case mentioned by the Honourable Senator, the firm of accountants administering the trust account have advised that creditor of the proposed schedule for payments.