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26 March 2017


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I was aware of the amendments Phil and, by the tenor of your remarks they have made not an iota of difference to the lack of transparency I mentioned. I know exactly how you felt with the birth certificate issue.

They tightened up the ILG legislation about 3 or 4 years ago to make it harder for people to rort it Peter.

To be a member of an ILG you now need a birth certificate showing you come from the area. You also can't now be in more than one ILG.

I helped a community on the Yuat River to put one of these new version ILGs together so they could deal with a mining company.

We ran off hundreds of birth certificate applications, had them filled out and then took them into Moresby for the certificates to be issued. Greased a few palms and got them quick.

When we got back to the village there was a crowd of new people with filled out forms who wanted a cut of the action.

Threw my hands in the air and went back to recording genealogies.

I have never been particularly enamoured of the concept of Incorporated Land Groups since they were first a glimmer in the eye of those that gave birth to them as I believed that they did not solve the underlying problem of bringing traditionally owned land into the commercial sphere.

The dilemma revolves around the banks' reluctance to lend money to ventures on such land, all efforts to resolve it to date not-with-standing eg lease/leaseback etc.

It appears though that ILG's are the way to go as even on Woodlark Island where the government recently agreed to allow alienated land to return to "the original landowners", they(the government) insisted that it be done by way of ILG's, a system that is known and has been demonstrably shown as being completely unable to ensure adequate transparency in the process it is supposed to oversee.

Once again, the only people that win out of these types of situations are the lawyers who charge like wounded bulls for their questionable advice and service.

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