What "The Man" does for "his people" Council funds spent on MundineBy Sue Dunlevy April 02, 2007 12:00am AN ABORIGINAL land council responsible for protecting Aboriginal culture and housing its people has instead spent between $60,000 and $80,000 sponsoring millionaire boxer Anthony Mundine. The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council in Sydney's Redfern paid Mundine $20,000 sponsorship each time he took part in a world title fight in the last three years. "I think the members approved $20,000 per fight for three to four fights," the council's chairman Rob Welsh said. "The expenditure was approved by a majority vote of the council's members to promote the land rights movement. "They were world title fights and our banner was behind him when he marched out. "Land council members were also given tickets to attend the fights. "Choc (Mundine) and his family are all members of the land council." Mr Welsh said the sponsorship deal had ceased because they were trying to put money back into their members. The council receives $115,000 funding each year from the state land council and was spending almost one fifth of that amount sponsoring Mundine. The land council, which covers an area from Barrenjoey Head near Palm Beach north of Sydney to La Perouse in the south, raises some of its own money in addition to the public grant. However, it has been telling members via its website that there is a long waiting list for the Aboriginal housing it provides. The council's website states its job is to protect Aboriginal culture and heritage in its area and that it also has a function to provide housing. It represents some of the most disadvantaged Aboriginal people in Sydney. Mr Welsh said the council had got more than its money's worth out of sponsoring Mundine. The boxer had rounded up footballers and staged fundraisers to help an Aboriginal child with leukaemia and travelled out to rural Australia to encourage Aboriginal children into sport. He had also donated goods to Aboriginal fundraisers, Mr Welsh said. Mundine had continued to promote the land council even after its funding had ceased, he said. The council had not sponsored Mundine during his recent clash with Sam Soliman but the council's banner was still displayed at the venue, he said. The council's financial management was investigated in 2003 and some members of the Aboriginal community said they did not believe the sponsorship was the best use of the council's limited resources.