A spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said this afternoon she understands the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is currently looking into issues surrounding the use Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) funds by a company linked to the Lhere Artepe native title organisation.
The spokesperson said this was to "ensure that all ABA funds have been used appropriately.
"Grants from the ABA are made to support projects which benefit Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.”
The Alice Springs News on Tuesday reported it had obtained an email exchange revealing a bitter dispute about the purchase of shares in a company.
The exchange casts more light on the deal by an affiliate of Lhere Artepe. However, the main players are keeping mum on what appears to be an unfolding scandal.
The company, CDE Civil, collapsed soon after the majority shareholding was bought by Lhere Artepe Enterprises Pty Ltd. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
CDE Civil Pty Ltd, a company linked to the Alice Springs native title organisation Lhere Artepe, has been placed into liquidation.
A string of prominent Aboriginal figures, including Deputy to the Administrator, Patricia Miller (pictured above with an armed forces officer and former Mayor Fran Kilgariff), may be affected by the developments through their associations with proprietary limited companies bearing the name Lhere Artepe (or related acronyms).
The largest shareholder of CDE Civil Pty Ltd is LAE Nominees Pty Ltd. The principal place of business of LAE is 21 Leichhardt Terrace, Alice Springs, also the office of Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation, at least until recently.
Canberra based business consultant Ron Morony, who has strong links to Alice Springs, says the company has 600 shares, 506 of which are held by LAE Nominees Pty Ltd. Mr Morony is a also director of the Antulye estate group.
He says 47 shares each are held by two interstate companies.
He says it appears LAE Nominees Pty Ltd is owned by Lhere Artepe Enterprises Pty Ltd which in turn is owned by Lhere Artepe Pty Ltd.
Mrs Miller is the chairperson of Lhere Artepe Enterprises Pty Ltd. EXCLUSIVE by ERWIN CHLANDA.