Bid to sack native title holders

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

The row in the  Alice Springs native title organisation Lhere Artepe is likely to reach boiling point on Thursday when the chairman, Brian Stirling, is calling a general meeting to sack five prominent members.

They include Ian Conway who has led a push for reform of the organisation and the suspension of its CEO, Darryl Pearce.

The others are Lesley Martin, Matthew Palmer, Felicity Hayes and Noel Kruger.

The reasons, according according to the meeting notice, are failure to attend meetings and “misbehaviour which has significantly interfered with the operation of the corporation and its meetings” or “destabilizing and generally bringing the Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation into disrepute”.

Meanwhile 90 native title holders are petitioning the Office of Registrar of Indigenous Companies (ORIC), asking it to appoint an Interim Administrator and “replace the current CEO,” Mr Pearce, because he “has betrayed members’ trust by conducting official Corporation matters against the Lhere Artepe Rule Book and failed to follow Native Title protocol”.

The petitioners say Mr Pearce’s response to a “show cause” notice given by ORIC “will not restore good governance”.

The reformers say the meeting is being called without the requisite number of members requesting it; the people under threat of expulsion have not been given a right of reply and there is no evidence that the traditional managers of the country, the “relevant Apmereke-artweye and Kwertengerle” have been consulted.

The Alice Springs News Online is seeking a comment from Mr Stirling.

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