On 6 August, the AICD lodged a submission with the National Indigenous Australians Agency on the exposure draft of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Amendment Bill 2021 (the Exposure Draft).
The AICD endorses many elements of the Exposure Draft that seek to promote the purpose of the CATSI Act, particularly those that promote a flexible legislative framework that accommodates specific cultural practices and allow for self-determination.
However, our stakeholder engagement has highlighted that certain amendments risk adding a level of complexity, compliance and regulation to CATSI corporations that is unnecessary and out of step with the purpose of the legislation. For example, we are concerned that some of the amendments such as the incorporation of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) Whistleblowing protections and requirements disclose executive remuneration risk conflating legal requirements and better practice, rather than encouraging CATSI corporations to adopt sound governance principles.
In our view, the CATSI Act should be focused on promoting governance and responsibility rather than being punitive in nature. This is particularly important for smaller CATSI corporations.
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