Bamaga Enterprises Limited (BEL) is an independent, not for profit, indigenous, community-owned, public company limited by guarantee with a membership base which ensures that profits are retained within the community for support and development purposes. BEL has Public Benevolent institution (PBI) status and its primary purpose is to assist those in necessitous circumstances, experiencing sickness or other disadvantage. It has tax exempt status from the Australian Taxation Office. As a public company, it is subject to an annual external audit, with its annual accounts lodged with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC).
BEL was established initially to ensure a commercially focused management structure was in place with the necessary business skills and expertise to maximize profitability and therefore increase the level of funding available for community projects and infrastructure. BEL was incorporated in April 2002. Its Directors are elected biennially (every two years) by the members at the Annual General Meeting. To be eligible, a person must have lived in the Bamaga community for at least five years. Those who meet the criteria may apply for either business membership (for those with business or managerial experience/expertise) or social membership (for those with cultural more social community knowledge and experience).
BEL has established the Bamaga Foundation and Bamaga Community Fund, both Charitable Funds at law. The Bamaga Community Fund is a Welfare Fund set up to assist persons in necessitous circumstances including assisting families with the cost of funerals. The Bamaga Foundation in turn has Taxation Office approval to build an investment fund which will be ultimately self sustaining in its charitable support. BEL Pty Ltd owns the Bamaga Centrelink building which it leases to Centrelink. BEL’s mission is to support the Bamaga and NPA community as it strives towards self-management and self-sufficiency. It achieves this by providing leadership in regards to advocacy and a commitment to sustainable social, charitable, environmental and community development outcomes. It provides employment, infrastructure/facilitates, training and educational opportunities for the local community.
As an indigenous community owned not for profit public company, the company has objectives other than those solely related to the business of profit maximisation. It must have regard to its social, charitable, environmental and community development responsibilities, carefully balancing these two elements with profits being re-invested back into the community by way of infrastructure development, sponsorship and donations.
BEL owns the Bamaga Centrelink building which it leases to Centrelink. BEL has 30-year operating leases over the Cape York Peninsula Lodge, Bamaga Tavern, Bamaga Bakery/Snack Bar (leased) and the BP Bamaga Service Station.