Corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) play a crucial role in delivering services and supporting economic development in Indigenous communities, particularly in remote Australia. Many Indigenous communities depend on CATSI corporations to deliver essential services, including land holding, housing, health, education, employment and native title services. The CATSI Act supports these corporations by promoting high standards of corporate governance and financial management. The Act also provides regulatory tools for assisting corporations in distress, such as special administration provisions.
- To address criticism of the 2018 review, this comprehensive review considers whether the CATSI Act is meeting its objects and continues to be desirable as a special measure for the advancement and protection of Indigenous people.
- The CATSI Act outlines governance standards designed to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For example, requiring that the majority of a corporations’ directors and members are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to ensure that corporations are Indigenous controlled.
- CATSI corporations need to be provided with greater flexibility in designing their corporate structures so they can generate more options for social, economic and community development. Making it easier for CATSI corporations to establish subsidiaries or enter into joint ventures will in turn expand business opportunities for Indigenous communities.
- With regards to Native Title, common law holder groups are diverse in size and capacity, and require transparency to exercise and protect their rights and interests. Tailored regulation can ensure that common law holders receive regular reporting about their native title benefits and are well placed to manage them into the future. This can also prevent disputes between Registered Native Titled Bodies, their members, and their common law holders.