AUSTRALIA'S former Aboriginal leader has questioned the timing and purpose of police charges levelled at him and three other people.
Framlingham's Geoff Clark, a 45-year-old Abbotsford man, a 37-year-old Northcote man and a Warrnambool woman, 63, were charged on summons this week with historical fraud-related offences.
Mr Clark is a former chairman of Halls Gap’s Brambuk – The National Park and Cultural Centre.
Police said all four were expected to appear at Warrnambool Magistrates Court on October 1.
A complex four-year police major fraud and extortion squad investigation is ongoing.
Mr Clark was served a summons earlier this week.
"I question the timing of all this," Mr Clark said.
"The fact is this (state) government has an alleged policy of reconciliation, self determination and advocates a willingness to engage in a treaty process with Aboriginal people," he said.
"But, they have locked me out of the debate. It's a further slur on my character and character of community in order to change the Lands Act and take away our right to self determination."
The former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission chairman said the Framlingham community was deeply divided and many members of the community faced a range of issues.
"The government is using that fracture to further question our integrity," he said.
Mr Clark said he last week questioned police about why he was the only person being investigated during another raid on his home.
"This is an attack on integrity, it's harassment, it's vilification," he said.
"The people I have dealt with have been interrogated during the last several years.
"Our integrity is intact. I stand by that. It's a f..ing sham."
Mr Clark said that during the past several years he had been the subject of forensic audits and police investigations instigated through government interference.
"It's a way to manage the affairs of Aboriginal people. It's a witch hunt for political purposes," he said.
"They say they support treaty and self determination but the management of Aboriginal people is farcical."
He said he hadn't even looked at the police charge sheets, claiming the charges were about governance issues.
Mr Clark said he would vigorously defend the criminal charges.
"They are exhausting me. I don't need this. They're dredging up the past and impacting our ability to self govern. No one else is treated like this," he said.
"You have seen the state of our community. How can we bring about change for future of generations when we are constantly under attack, it's almost impossible.”