The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button, has announced the end of the special administration of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA).
Special administrators were appointed to the Alice Springs media corporation from March 9, 2020, initially for four months. The appointment was extended six times.
The special administrators have explored a number of options for CAAMA to operate viably and address its significant debts, according to Mr Button.
“They have faced many challenges as a result of very poor financial management in the past. The Covid pandemic also complicated the special administration, making it very difficult for them to sell property to alleviate the financial woes.”
The special administrators successfully negotiated with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) to restructure CAAMA’s largest debts, pay off all other pre-special administration creditors and bring the corporation back to a viable and sustainable position.
Before the special administration, none of CAAMA’s 12 remote broadcasting sites were operational. Now 11 are, with eight (soon to be nine) broadcasting locally-produced content. This is a significant improvement and an important step to rebuilding the confidence of NIAA, says Mr Button.
“During the pandemic, it has been very important for CAAMA Radio to provide remote communities with accurate, up-to-date news.
“I’m pleased to know that the special administration has restored trust in CAAMA — both its services and its governance capability.”
CAAMA’s financial position has improved dramatically. It posted a $2.67 million loss for 2019–20.
Through improvements to financial controls and oversight they were able to significantly reduce spending. They have also focused on improving revenue generation.
The combination of changes has delivered a $800,000 surplus for 2020–21.
The Registrar will monitor the corporation for the next 12 months.