The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (15:27): During question time, I outlined serious allegations in relation to a number of Kaurna related organisations, and the bottom line is that, after a long period of time, it appears that OCBA, having been asked to investigate these allegations, has done nothing.
I hope that we have not seen an example of political correctness gone mad. I hope we have not seen an example of political favouritism towards various groups connected with the Kaurna people. I hope that OCBA and the government will treat all organisations equally in relation to the application of the associations incorporation legislation. If the law is breached, then action should be taken against the particular organisation, irrespective of the nature or background of that organisation.
I want to refer to a number of documents; one is dated 28 January 2005 addressed to the KACHA committee from, as I said, this chartered accountant employed by them to provide them with advice. I quote:
Status report on financial position…Nothing has been done in this area since the year ended 30 June 2001. It is my understanding that the records for the period 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 have ‘disappeared’ and nobody knows where they are. Copies of the bank statements have been provided. However, some 650 cheques totalling some $200,000 have been issued and there are no details at all of what these cheques were paid for, although from past experience 95 per cent of them will have been paid to individuals (mostly committee members) without any taxation being withheld or superannuation paid. The only avenue short of finding the missing cheque books is to get the bank to provide copies, which will be a very expensive exercise, given the number involved. Without these details, nothing can be done. It’s as simple as that.
Further, that letter states, in summary:
The really scary thing about all of this is that over the past five years alone, I estimate that organisation has generated between $800,000 and $1 million and it has jack sh.t… to show for it.
The other document dated 26 April 2005 addressed to the chairperson of KACHA, again from the chartered accountant, states:
If indeed the unpaid GST liability is $65,000, and I believe it is considerably more than that, then KACHA has collected $650,000 net of GST since July 1, 2000…I will use an example to explain this anomaly. Let’s say four committee members attend a meeting with council and the following day four senior monitors do two days’ work each. The committee members receive $150 each for the meeting and the monitors get $300 per day plus $25 travel and $25 lunch money. KACHA invoices the council as follows:
Meeting attendance by four members$600
Two days monitoring by four senior monitors$2,400
Of this amount, approximately $1,520.00 is not supposed to be paid to anybody and is meant to cover administration, PAYG Withholding and GST. This equates to some 37.3% of the invoice. If we apply that formula to the figures above, KACHA should have $242,450 left over. If we take the Mawson Lakes funds as adding an extra $50,000 because it is not invoiced as such, we’re pushing $300,000! KACHA has nothing! We know the PAYG and GST have not been paid, so where is it?
The letter continues:
The most obvious conclusion I can draw is that in the unbridled greed to bleed the Association of every single cent that it has, people have been paid for work that they did not do, or for meetings they did not attend, or both…I’m not sure how Aboriginal culture views these matters, but I look on it as theft at worst and culpable negligence at best and I have been on this case since 1999! The Committee has done nothing but line its own pockets and those of its friends and relatives to the extent that KACHA is technically bankrupt, because it can’t pay its debts.
I accept that this will come as a huge jolt to some people, but quite frankly, it’s about bloody time it did. I understand you wanting to get a handle on it personally, but I hope it is not swept under the carpet as it has been in the past. There has to be a point at which the ignorance of not knowing and understanding the taxation law is overtaken by a planned, clandestine and greed-driven desire to fleece both KACHA and the system of as much money as they can get their hands on.
The letter concludes:
If you ask any of the members who know me, they will tell you that I shoot from the hip and don’t skirt issues. This is the stark reality of where KACHA currently stands. You have told me that you don’t know where the money will come from to pay $65,000 in outstanding GST. Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Where has the money gone and who is responsible? If people are too busy or don’t understand their obligations then they shouldn’t be on the Committee, being paid for being incompetent.
I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
It is signed ‘Regards’ with the name of the chartered accountant.