Special administrator says Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation is viable

A Wodonga Indigenous group has been declared solvent by its special administrator, whose term was extended this week.

Alan Eldridge said Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation had made progress since his appointment in December.

“There were some significant debts there that were negotiated through and dealt with,” he said.

“They certainly don’t have surplus funds to do anything too extraordinary with but they can operate, they can pay their debts when they become payable and that’s the definition of solvency.”

Mr Eldridge said future priorities included re-engaging the community and ensuring sustainable governance for the corporation.

“We’ve determined that it is viable and now we can move forward,” he said.

On Tuesday the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations announced Mr Eldridge, originally due to finish up on Thursday, would remain as special administrator until June 29.

ORIC had placed Mungabareena under special administration following a request from the corporation’s board.

Some community members last year called for the removal of the board directors, criticising their performance in managing the organisation.

On February 28 ORIC ended the monitoring of Mungabareena begun when a compliance notice was issued in December 2015.

A ORIC spokeswoman said the special administration was going well.

The extension would allow the administrator to help the corporation implement further measures “and provide it with the best chance at a successful and sustainable future”.

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation chief executive Ian Hamm said Mungabareena had passed two quality accreditations in the past three months.

Changes included the constitution being reviewed, establishing an advisory committee and developing an improved, transparent environment.

“VACCHO is pleased with the progress to date and looks forward to further developments,” Mr Hamm said.