Dear Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty, The Hon. David Harris MP,

I am writing to express my concerns about the management and operation of the Red Chief Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) under the Administrator, Mr. Tim Gumbleton. As a member of the Gunnedah Aboriginal community, I am deeply troubled by the lack of progress and outcomes since his appointment on 14th December 2022.

During Mr. Gumbleton’s initial 6-month contract, worth $81,000 (plus GST), he had primary objectives to achieve, which I believe will not be met or satisfactorily addressed by the end of his contract on 14th June 2023. These objectives include “overseeing and dealing with day-to-day operational matters” and “appointing an Advisory Committee to assist in considering and implementing required changes.”

I had a conversation with Mr. Gumbleton on 6th February 2023, during which he mentioned conducting an EOI for an Advisory Committee. However, in a follow-up email in April 2023, he still had not appointed an Advisory Committee or made progress on day-to-day operational matters. This lack of progress has directly affected our community, as we have been unable to run events at the Red Chief LALC community centre.

On 11th April 2023, I posted on LinkedIn about the concerning failure rate of LALCs and the growing number of LALCs placed into administration. You agreed that this issue is concerning. I kindly request that you take action to address these concerns, starting with the Red Chief LALC.

The lack of progress and action by the Administrator, appointed by the previous Liberal/National government, has hindered our community’s ability to conduct events and has stifled general progress. I urge you, as the Minister, to take action and address this issue so that the Aboriginal community in Gunnedah can move forward in a positive manner.

Should Mr. Gumbleton propose an extension of his contract, which currently costs $13,500 (plus GST) per month, I implore you to consider the negative impact his lack of progress has had on our community before approving any such extension.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your prompt response and action.

The Hon. David Robert HARRIS MP - Red Chief Local Aboriginal Land Council

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