FORMER Australian Aboriginal leader Geoff Clark has admitted that a pizza oven at the centre of allegations of funding misappropriation was built at his Framlingham home.
Mr Clark yesterday called for proof, not more allegations, after the funding body at the centre of his financial affairs was asked by Consumer Affairs Victoria to show cause why it should not be wound up.
It has been previously revealed that a financial audit of Kirrae Whurrong Community Inc (KWC) between mid-2008 and mid-2010 identified anomalies of $672,450, including evidence of potential fraud of $126,423 involving a former employee.
Potential misuse of funds revealed in The Australian newspaper tallied $199,290 and there was also a lack of evidence of authorisation or supporting documentation for another $346,736.
The audit identified 15 payments in the trust ledger totalling $55,133.58 for an outdoor deck and pizza oven at Mr Clark’s home, all marked as payments for ‘‘Geoff’s deck’’.
Mr Clark said the allegations were just that — allegations.
But asked about “Geoff’s deck” and specifically the location of the pizza oven, Mr Clark said: “at my house”.
“That is the house I rent. My home is Framlingham, where I’ve lived for 60 years. What does that prove? That facility was built to enhance nutrition,” he said.
“Exactly what is being alleged? That Aboriginals can’t cook pizza?
“We’ve had Dipper (footballer Robert DiPierdomenico) down to take part in AFL programs on nutrition. It’s just ridiculous. It’s not mine, I don’t own the home. It’s a communal-owned housing co-operative.
“The pizza oven is a community-owned asset and not owned by me. It’s about advancing society and closing the gap.”
Mr Clark said he was confident issues could be worked out with Consumer Affairs Victoria.
“We’ve got to show cause, we were a bit late with some of the financials,” he said.
Acting registrar of incorporated associations Elizabeth Lanyon proposed to wind up Kirrae Whurrong Community Inc, which controls commercial interests based around Mr Clark’s community at Framlingham, in a public notice. She outlined that KWC had not provided the registrar with financial statements, failed to remedy the breach and, in the opinion of the registrar, circumstances exist which, in the public interest, justify the winding up.
Dr Lanyon gave KWC until October 2 to show cause why it should not be wound up.
Australian Federal Police has repeatedly refused to comment on its involvement to The Standard because an active investigation was under way.