In­dige­nous fund ben­e­fits

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The In­dige­nous Land Cor­po­ra­tion will be em­pow­ered to ac­quire wa­ter as­sets for tra­di­tional own­ers un­der pro­posed leg­is­la­tion to es­tab­lish a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar in­vest­ment fund.

A pack­age of three Bills sup­port­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of the Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Land and Sea Fu­ture Fund passed the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 25, with bi­par­ti­san sup­port.

The ex­ist­ing land ac­count’s man­age­ment, which held $2 bil­lion as of July, would be trans­ferred from the Depart­ment of Prime Min­is­ter and Cab­i­net to the Fu­ture Fund Board of Guardians.

In­dige­nous Health Min­is­ter Ken Wy­att said the land ac­count did not gen­er­ate re­turns needed to sus­tain CPI-in­dexed pay­ments to the ILC.

“The new fund will place this im­por­tant in­dige­nous en­dow­ment fund on a sus­tain­able foot­ing so it can de­liver on its pur­pose — to pro­vide long-term fund­ing to the In­dige­nous Land Cor­po­ra­tion to pur­chase as­sets on be­half of in­dige­nous Aus­tralians,” he said.

“Land ac­count in­vest­ments are re­stricted to low-earn­ing cash and cash-like prod­ucts.

“Mov­ing the in­vest­ment re­spon­si­bil­ity of the fund to the fu­ture fund board will al­low these funds to be in­vested in a broader range of fi­nan­cial as­sets, in­creas­ing the like­li­hood of more sus­tain­able re­turns.”

Mr Wy­att said the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion would en­hance the Com­mon­wealth’s abil­ity to make pay­ments to the In­dige­nous Land Cor­po­ra­tion.

The other ma­jor re­form un­der the pack­age would see the ILC’s re­mit ex­panded to ac­qui­si­tion of wa­ter-re­lated rights for fresh and salt­wa­ter coun­try.

ILC chair­man Ed­die Fry said the changes would cre­ate some­thing sim­i­lar to a sov­er­eign wealth fund.

“It is a long time com­ing to be able to take those cap­i­tal funds in a land ac­count and put them into an in­vest­ment man­date which will see it grow well enough to al­low the ILC to ex­pand its ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

“At a base­line level one of the things in­dige­nous Aus­tralians are seek­ing to do is to pre­serve, pro­tect and own land and wa­ter as one par­cel.”

Mr Fry said the changes could open up op­por­tu­ni­ties such as com­mer­cial fish­ing and con­ser­va­tion for tra­di­tional owner groups.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.