Chris Ison

44 Indigenous-run organisations under investigation

DOZENS of Indigenous-run organisations are under investigation by the Federal Government, amid allegations of fraud, waste and corruption.

The skimming of this cash leaves the communities these groups are designed to serve in abject poverty.

The organisations receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal and state government grants.

ABC's Four Corners will air the allegations on Monday evening, including claims that a former project manager took about $3 million from a Kimberley community after being contracted by the West Australian Department of Housing.

The funding was designed to build 56 homes in the town after floodwaters devastated the region.

The chairman of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine, told ABC he was not surprised by the investigations.

"You go into some of these communities and you see people living in abject poverty and you know that they have a trust fund or they have an organisation [which receives] millions of dollars, which is their money," he said.

"It's a problem that we've really got to break through, and we've got to be tough on it."

Mr Mundine said there were a lot of good organisations doing good work for their communities.

He said it was no worse than problems that affect the corporate world more generally.

Mr Mundine has called on the government to dump the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, replacing it with an Indigenous commission who works inside the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

The Four Corners investigation will air on Monday June 6 at 8.30pm on ABC TV.


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