Community Update No. 3 of 2009 - 2010: 20 November 2009

Update No. 3 of 2009 - 2010: 20 November 2009

 Report on Asset Stripping in Communities!!

 APY has received the Investigator’s preliminary report in relation to complaints of asset stripping from some communities.

 In one case, several items of equipment were removed from a community without consultation. As a result of the investigation, the NGO which removed the items contacted the community to discuss the matter and the equipment is on its way back to the community.

In another case, the report confirmed the seizure of vehicles followed by financial claims for repairs in one case to another NGO for an amount which could not be substantiated.

One vehicle has already been returned, or is about to be returned, to the complaining community.

The same NGO was found to have negotiated the rental of a duplex in a community to the local school for $120/week, going up to $450/week. Part way through the investigation, the school withdrew its comment that it had paid $120/week to the NGO and instead said (after speaking to the NGO) that it had only drawn a cheque. The Special Administrators for the NGO has since denied that the NGO is renting out properties belonging to APY.

The same NGO was found to have convened a meeting of Chairpersons at which there was discussion along the lines that APY holds the Lands on trust, or does not fully own the Lands. The Special Administrator has since denied that the NGO has made any comment about APY’s ownership of the Lands.

APY is the freehold owner of the Lands and is entitled to exclusive possession. APY must consult with the traditional owners of the lands in relation to any proposal for access to, use of, or occupation of the Lands, find out what the wishes of the traditional owners are in relation to those proposals, and, protect the interests of the traditional owners.

APY will act to protect the interests of traditional owners.

The APY Investigator will be returning for one week block visits to communities who have complaints. If you have a complaint please let Umuwa know and we can have the matter investigated and assist you.

The investigation so far has revealed a number of unsatisfactory matters and solved a number of problems for communities who have complained

Don't be afraid to complain about matters that are of concern to you because a government party or contractor might be involved.

All complaints are treated in strict confidence.

Bernard Singer, APY Chairperson

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