Dr Dawn Casey

Blamed the Ayers Rock Resort investment for saddling the Indigenous Land Corporation with crushing debts: Dr Dawn Casey, ILC chairwoman. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Indigenous Land Corporation, threatened with restructure by the Abbott government, is calling on Parliament to put its $50 million-a-year funding "above politics" and out of reach of any government.

In an unprecedented move for a publicly-funded statutory body, the ILC has drafted its own bill that if passed into law would quarantine its funding stream – the $2 billion federally controlled "land account" – from political interference.

The draft bill, a copy of which has been obtained by Fairfax Media, would also prevent Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion or his successors from stacking the ILC board with government appointments.

It is likely to be interpreted as an early souring of the relationship between indigenous Australia and the Abbott government as its only real prospect of advancement is if it is taken up by Labor and the Greens and introduced into the Senate.

The extraordinary intervention by the ILC, led by chairwoman Dawn Casey, is a direct result of tensions between Senator Scullion and the new board and leadership of the ILC over the botched $320 million purchase in 2011 of the Ayers Rock Resort.

Ms Casey has blamed the 2011 investment, now valued at just $200 million, for saddling the ILC with crushing debts and preventing it from focusing on its charter: to buy land for the "economic, environmental, social or cultural benefits" of indigenous communities.

Senator Scullion has strongly defended the previous board and former ILC director David Baffsky who drove the purchase from property company GPT.

In December, the minister announced a review into amalgamating the ILC with the $1 billion Indigenous Business Australia. Senator Scullion's office leaked the announcement to The Australian, which speculated that a merger would lead to Ms Casey's sacking.