• Under Joe Morrison's leadership, the Northern Land Council has claimed several native title victories in the Northern Territory. (NLC)Source: NLC
Australia’s largest land council declares it will return to business as normal after sacking its CEO.
NITV Staff Writer

3 Dec 2018 - 3:24 PM  UPDATED 3 Dec 2018 - 3:30 PM

The Northern Land Council (NLC) has appointed an interim chief executive after it sacked Joe Morrison last week.

Mr Morrison had recently announced his resignation after five years at the NLC citing “personal reasons” in what was publicly presented as a respectful departure.

It was later reported that he was the subject to allegations of misconduct and financial misappropriation, which he has denied and the NLC has not commented on.

Rick Fletcher, who has been working as a manager at the NLC, has been appointed to lead the land council until January.

The council’s deputy chairman John Christophersen said last week that the decision was made to allow for a quicker transition to an "environment with a new CEO".

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With a statement citing 'personal reasons' for Joe Morrison’s departure, media reports instead suggest possible tension with the chairman.

"We are in a difficult situation at the moment, we are trying to deal with a number of issues and maintain the integrity of the Northern Land Council," he told AAP.

"More importantly we are making sure our people in the bush have a properly functioning organisation, that's what we're trying to do."

The NT News reported that eight of the council’s nine-member executive voted to terminate his employment, with one absentee.

When he quit two weeks ago, Mr Morrison said he resigned for "personal reasons and that it was time to explore other opportunities".

A spokesperson for the council told NITV News then that Mr Morrison would be at the council until March 2019.

"He has enjoyed his time at the NLC and says he has achieved many of the commitments he gave to the late Mr Wunungmurra who was chairman when he was recruited," an NLC statement said.

"The NLC is a fundamentally important institution for Aboriginal people of the Top End and he leaves the NLC in a better position to deal with the challenges faced by Traditional Owners than when he joined in 2014."

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