Former corporation head faces prison term

A former director of Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation is facing jail after pleading guilty in the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney to three counts of dishonestly using his position.

In June last year, Trevor John Close was charged with three counts of dishonestly misusing his position as a corporation director to gain an advantage for himself, contrary to section 265-25(3)(a) of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

It was alleged that in 2013, Close used the proceeds of sale from a property owned by Githabul Nation to pay the rent for his private home in Sydney.

Close faces a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and/or a fine of $10,200.

The charges were brought by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven.

Githabul Nation was incorporated in 2006 and is registered under the CATSI Act. It was established to manage the Native Title rights and interests of the Githabul people of northern New South Wales.

On November 29 2007, the Federal Court made a consent determination recognising the Githabul people’s Native Title rights and interests over 1120 sq km of national parks and state forests around Kyogle.

Magistrate George this week ordered a pre-sentencing report for Close and adjourned the matter to April 4 for a sentence hearing.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

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