As part of its policy of self-determination the Andrews Labor Government is piloting a program that will ensure Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations (ACCOs) have full control of their assets and have the autonomy to grow and plan for the future.
This pilot is the first step in a program to remove first mortgages held by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs for 30 Aboriginal organisations.
Aboriginal Housing Victoria and the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative are the first organisations to trial the program and will receive $50,000 grants to develop a business case for the removal of the first mortgage over their properties.
The program will see the removal of first mortgages following specific requirements being met, including financial stability and a sound governance history.
In Victoria there are currently 59 properties owned by Aboriginal organisations over which the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, hold a first mortgage. The first mortgages were generally applied as part of the funding agreement that allowed the organisations to purchase the properties.
Whilst the organisations are the legal owners of the property the existence of the first mortgage prevents them utilising the capital to build a better future.
More information about the First Mortgage and Community Infrastructure Program is available online at
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins
“Aboriginal community organisations are doing a great job delivering front line services.”
“These changes will give Aboriginal organisations the independence and infrastructure to grow and flourish.”
“For too long the Government has been the decision maker on issues impacting the Aboriginal community. This program is about handing back control to Aboriginal organisations, so they can build enterprises and plan for the future.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020