Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan visited the Aboriginal Kurrachee Co-operative Society today (Monday) to discuss its programmes after he successfully got a debt waived which threatened the viability of the Co-op and its services.
Kurrachee Co-operative Society, which provides housing, employment and associated services to Coraki’s Indigenous community, received a $275,000 grant from the previous government for the construction of an administration building on Kurrachee’s land at Yabsley Street Coraki.
However, several years later after the building had been completed, the programme was scrapped by the previous government, which then demanded Kurrachee repay the grant.
“Through no fault of its own, Kurrachee became embroiled in a legal quagmire and was at real risk of losing its Yabsley Street office after the previous government demanded the return of a $275,000 grant it had issued to fund a Community Development Employment Projects programme,” Mr Hogan said.
The funds were to build a new office to run Kurrachee’s services on land owned by Kurrachee.
In March 2013 the then-government served Kurrachee with Supreme Court legal writ demanding it repay the $275,000 grant and a caveat was placed over the title of Kurrachee’s land.
As well as being the headquarters for Kurrachee, the office is used by the Bogal Local Aboriginal Land Council, and various community groups like the Elders and women’s groups.
It is also the temporary office for the service delivery of government departments such as Corrective Services and Centrelink. “Kurrachee asked me to take up the issue, which I happily did, and successfully argued to the new Minister for Finance that common sense should prevail,” Mr Hogan said.
“The minister agreed and the debt has been waived, allowing Kurrachee to continue to provide much needed services to our local Aboriginal community free from threat of legal action.”