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ATLA MESSAGE TO MEMBERS

The court case that ATLA commenced against Rangelea was started in the interests of Common Law Holders because the directors of Rangelea have refused to provide information about how the compensation money received from mining companies has been used and distributed.

The aim of the court proceedings is to seek access to the records of the Adnyamathanha Master Trust to provide transparency to the Traditional Owners and Common Law Holders. The special administrator has also applied to have an inspector appointed to Rangelea, to report to the Court on how the directors of Rangelea have spent and distributed the compensation money.

Once it has the information, ATLA will pass on to Traditional Owners and Common Law Holders what it learns about how the directors of Rangelea have been managing the Master Trust and distributing the compensation money.

For those who are unsure as to the role of ATLA and the special administrator:

ATLA

ATLA is an Aboriginal Corporation incorporated under the CATSI Act as the registered native title body corporate (RNTBC) for the Adnyamathanha native title holders (Common Law Holders). It acts as their agent to manage the native title rights and interests of Adnyamathanha people.

Because of its position as a registered native title body corporate, ATLA can perform a number of functions for the Adnyamathanha Common Law Holders as set out in the Native Title (Prescribed Body Corporate) Regulations 1999 (Cth). These include, but are not limited to:
  • acting as agent of the Common Law Holders in respect of matters relating to the native title;
  • managing the rights and interests of the Common Law Holders as authorised by the Common Law Holders; and
  • holding in trust money connected with the native title rights and interests (including compensation payments or payments otherwise related to those rights and interests).
ATLA can only be replaced as the registered native title body corporate for the Adnyamathanha Common Law Holders by an order of the Federal Court of Australia upon an application of the Common Law Holders. 

Special administration

ATLA is currently under special administration. A special administrator, once appointed, is responsible for the conduct of the affairs of ATLA and the special administrator:
  • can exercise any power which belongs to ATLA;
  • must consent before any powers of ATLA’s office can be exercised;
  • must report to the Registrar from time to time; and
  • has the aim of restoring ATLA to financial and organisational health so that control can be returned to the ATLA members.
A special administration finishes when:
  • the period of the special administrator’s appointment ends and control of ATLA is restored to its members;
  • if, before the end of the special administrator’s appointment, a liquidator is appointed to ATLA or ATLA starts to be wound up as a result of an application made by the Registrar or the special administrator; or
  • if, before the end of the special administrator’s appointment, the Registrar makes a determination to terminate the special administration.

Peter McQuoid
Special Administrator ALTA