A South Australian Aboriginal elder is calling for a judicial inquiry into alleged corruption in Aboriginal communities and family-run monopolies in the state.
The chairman of the Tribal Owners of Southern South Australia Mark Koolmatrie made the demand in an opinion piece published in The Australian on Wednesday.
“A full judicial inquiry into governance of indigenous corporations (and the role of their lawyers) in South Australia would shed light on the concerns about corruption and maladministration within these bodies,” he wrote.
Aboriginal enterprises across SA receive tens of millions of dollars annually through mining company payments under native title agreements or grants for running health services and community organisations, Mr Koolmatrie noted.
But many organisations had also been placed into administration due to governance, management or financial issues.
“There is no accountability for bad behaviour, so it just keeps happening,” he said.
“Under the native title system, millions are paid to bodies often controlled by one family group who decide how the money is divided up in their community.
“This leads to a power imbalance, opportunities for corruption and nepotism… and denies other families access to their community money.”
Mr Koolmatrie said he had approached now-Premier Steven Marshall about the issue before the last election.
AAP is seeking comment from the SA government.
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