Gumala Update – May 2018Mitesh patel
Gumala Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) as Manager of the General Gumala Foundation (GGF) have been made aware of the concerns raised by members who recently attended the consultation meeting of Gumala Investments (GIPL) the GGF Trustee held in Tom Price on 21 April 2018. Furthermore, GAC are aware of concerns communicated by GAC members on the corporation’s Facebook page. These concerns relate specifically to the following:
- The Yandi Land Use Agreement (YLUA) 5-year Review
- The Foundation 5-year Review
- Travel payments
- Flexible Programs
- Chrisco vs. Gift Cards
YLUA 5-year Review
Contrary to comments made by non-directors at the GIPL Consultation Meeting, the review process has not yet commenced. Presently GAC are making arrangements for a Monitoring and Liaison (M&L) meeting to take place, where the YLUA 5-year review process (amongst other items) will be discussed. The M&L Committee are responsible for the parameters of review and the recommended outcomes as a result of the review.
The GAC Board are committed to ensuring consultation with members throughout the review process, however, it is important to note that Rio Tinto have confirmed their position in not entering a renegotiation of the terms agreed to within the YLUA
A M&L meeting is planned for late May, in order to confirm the terms of reference and consultation. Further information will be made available to the membership after this meeting has taken place.
Foundation 5-year Review
Separate to the YLUA 5-year review, GIPL as Trustee of the GGF are in the process of conducting a Foundation review in 2018. GAC are unaware of the process that will be undertaken in the review, and GGF beneficiaries are encouraged to contact GIPL for any updates. The corporation will however keep its members informed as the information becomes available to the GAC.
For clarity, the recent consultation meeting in Tom Price was a GIPL facilitated and managed meeting pursuant to the requirements placed on the Trustee of the GGF. GAC are aware that members present at the meeting raised concerns relating to the reimbursement of travel costs to members.
It is important to note that GAC are undertaking a review of its own internal policies. As a part of the review, policies relating to reimbursement of travel costs will be escalated with consideration to the comments made against ATO and GGF Trust Deed parameters. GAC are also investigating ways to assist members up front, in travelling to future GAC meetings.
GAC have taken the members feedback, provided in the 2017 Survey, Homeland Community Consultations and the AGM on-board. Given this feedback, GAC are advocating strongly for GIPL to consider a flexible program approach for the 2018-2019 financial year. Essentially, this model allows an allocated amount per member to be spent on the needs of the individual (within set guidelines).
Given this approach, a member would not be forced to spend a defined amount per category, but instead a member could choose to spend the entire balance on an individual category. For example, if a member wishes to spend the balance of their allocation on health, the member would be able to do so without the current restriction of $400 as defined in the Member Program Guidelines 2017-2018. This is in line with our strategic objective of self-determination and empowerment.
Please note, the only restriction under this program structure, would be the available balance allocated to each member. This directly relates to the Mining Benefit Payments made by Rio Tinto to Gumala each quarter.
Chrisco vs. Gift Card
We have also been informed as to numerous comments made by members in preferencing the distribution of gift cards over Chrisco Hampers. GAC staff are conducting due diligence as to the prospect of this request, noting cash payments were voted down at a GIPL SGM of beneficiaries in 2017, and gift cards may be deemed cash equivalents under the GGF Trust Deed. GAC need to ensure that we operate within the restrictions and objectives of the trust deed at all times. We note the previous distribution of gift cards was made by GEPL dividend payments, and not GGF Trust funds.
GAC look forward to updating the membership as the outcomes to the above become available.
As always, we welcome your feedback and comments.
Gloria Smith (Chairperson) and Jahna Cedar (Executive Officer)
11 May 2018