The body established by Tony Abbott to advise the prime minister on Indigenous issues has temporarily ceased to exist, but Malcolm Turnbull’s office said it was still committed to keeping it.
The ABC understands cabinet will approve the appointment of a new head and some new members next week when it meets.
Head of the Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC) Warren Mundine has been informed his role and the body itself – established after the 2013 election – have been dissolved.
Mr Mundine is understood to have received an email from the department of Prime Minister and cabinet to inform him that all further meetings and activities were now cancelled.
Mr Mundine has not been officially informed by Mr Turnbull himself.
But on Wednesday night a spokeswoman for Mr Turnbull said the government was still committed to continuing the IAC.
“Appointments are currently going through the usual cabinet processes,” she said.
“The commitment remains.
“The PM is committed to the continuation of the Indigenous Advisory Council. Members’ terms were extended until 31 January and then the appointment of new members would go through usual cabinet processes.”
Mr Turnbull extended Mr Mundine’s role as chairman of the IAC by only one month, in December, with the future of the body and the form it will take up in the air.
A spokesman for Mr Turnbull in December said: “The government has committed to continuing the Indigenous Advisory Council and all existing council members’ terms have been extended until January, 2017.
“The government will make an announcement about the Indigenous Advisory Council before then.”
Mr Mundine’s extended contract, originally given to him by Mr Abbott, has now expired.
The Aboriginal leader has had a rocky relationship with Mr Turnbull, previously slamming the setting up of an Aboriginal incarceration inquiry.
Mr Mundine questioned which “dickhead” had thought up the Australian Law Reform Commission’s inquiry into possible remedies to the incarceration crisis, announced on Thursday.
He recently told RN Drive Mr Turnbull had stopped speaking to him, but the Prime Minister called him directly after the interview and restarted their dialogue.