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Review of Indigenous Business Australia and the Indigenous Land Corporation

Review of Indigenous Business Australia and the Indigenous Land Corporation

Posted 29 January 2014


In December 2013, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion announced a review into Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC). The review is being conducted by consulting firm Ernst and Young.

The Government’s stated purposes of the review are to:

  • make recommendations to Government about how improvements could be made to the effectiveness of these two principal land and economic development statutory bodies;
  • explore the optimal structures for Government efforts to drive Indigenous economic development; and
  • explore how duplication and overlap can be avoided.

The review commenced on 3 December 2013 and will report to Government in February 2014.

Terms of Reference:

The review will consider and make recommendations on the following:

  1.  The effectiveness of IBA and the ILC, as they are currently constituted, in driving Indigenous economic development through employment, training, business development, land acquisition and management and home ownership.
  2. The optimal structure and function of government effort to drive Indigenous economic development. This should include consideration of whether outcomes could be enhanced by integrating IBA and the ILC into a single entity.
  3. If a statutory body is considered the best approach, how to structure arrangements to ensure:
    i. efficient administration and reduce red tape
    ii. transparency and accountability of public funds
    iii. appropriate powers of Ministerial direction or Government control

There is no intention to change, alter or take savings out of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Account, which funds the land acquisition and land management functions of the Indigenous Land Corporation.

IBA’s Submission:

The IBA Board submission is made to inform the review by EY into the effectiveness of IBA and the ILC. IBA’s submission:

  • demonstrates IBA’s strong contribution to Indigenous economic development through concessional home lending; small business development and support and concessional finance; and sustainable commercial investment
  • provides a basis for the argument for a separating social and commercial programs in Indigenous economic development, including lessons learnt from past policy decisions
  • outlines the benefits of the independence of commercial decision-making from direct Government involvement
  • discusses the risks of mixing commercial and social activity within a single agency, having regard to the history, differences in purpose, program objectives, systems, and culture of IBA and ILC, as well as other risks to be considered in the context of the Review.
  • For the above reasons the IBA Board does not believe that Indigenous economic development outcomes would be enhanced by merging IBA and ILC

A copy of the IBA Board’s full submission to the review is available below.

IBA Submission to Ernst and Young Review (PDF 1MB, new window)