W #Australia #Indigenous #IdleNoMore Ending the control of white managers & #Mining Co #FMG

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation BULLETIN

Wednesday 30 January 2013

ENDING THE CONTROL OF WHITE MANAGERS & FMG

30 January 2013

This week Gerry Georgatos of the National Indigenous Times, writes:

DOWNLOAD Wirlu-murra considers ending the control of white managers

The National Indigenous Times reports that the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) has confirmed that it has engaged an external consultant “to review conflicts of interest affecting a former employee [Lillian Maher], and the NNTT’s procedures and processes for identifying, declaring and managing conflicts of interest.”

The National Indigenous Times has written that these alleged conflicts of interests by the former NNTT State Manager “might mean the granting of exploratory licences to mining companies on Yindjibarndi Country are tainted and may need to be reviewed.” Fortescue CEO, Mr Power said, “Fortescue has had no involvement in the NNTT inquiry. We are unaware of its terms of reference […] Fortescue is confident all of our tenure was granted through proper legal process and we do not accept that there is any basis on which the process can be impugned.”

Last year the NNTT told The Australian newspaper, "The NNTT has no record of any declaration or other advice being received from Ms Maher in respect of her status as a director of MGA Consulting. The NNTT has no record of any declarations being made by Ms Maher in respect of her partner’s and daughter’s employment."

Conflict of interest issues regarding Ms Maher’s conduct arise from a complex of relationships including immediate family and FMG executives:

  1. While she was State Manager at the NNTT, Ms Maher’s private company, MGA Consulting Pty Ltd, was contracted by Fortescue Metals Group to conduct heritage surveys in the Yindjibarndi #1 Native Title Claim area. This contract was operative after FMG had applied to the NNTT for arbitration to allow the grant of mining tenements in the claim area.
  2. A co-director of MGA Consulting with Ms Maher, is her spouse, Michael Gallagher.
  3. The heritage consultancy for FMG was undertaken by Michael Gallagher, who for five years previously was employed variously as Anthropologist, Manager Aboriginal Affairs, and Aboriginal Access and Opportunity Manager in FMG’s Land Access Division, where his job was to ensure “that [FMG’s] grant of project tenure is not delayed on account of approvals under the Native Title Act.”
  4. MGA was engaged in this work by Ms Maher’s daughter, and Mr Gallagher’s step-daughter, Lisa Maher, who is FMG’s Heritage Manager.
  5. The MGA report produced by Mr Gallagher for FMG, which effectively dismisses the merits of the Yindjibarndi native title claim over Vacant Crown land (VCL) where FMG is developing its Solomon project, was used to obtain approval for iron ore mining within FMG’s Solomon Hub.
  6. Tom Weaver, who is the Native Title Manager for FMG, and was previously the NNTT’s Manager for the Geraldton, Kimberley and Pilbara region, and relieved Ms Maher as Acting State Manager for a period, is a close family friend of Ms Maher and Mr Gallagher.
  7. In December 2010, Mr Gallagher left FMG to work as a consultant (Native Title Manager and de facto CEO) with Wirlu-Murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (WMYAC), which he helped to establish while with FMG. FMG financially sponsors WMYAC, which supports FMG projects against the objections of the properly appointed Yindjibarndi Prescribed Body Corporate and elected representative body, the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC).
  8. At the same time as Mr Gallagher serves as co-director with Lillian Maher of their private company, FMG pays the fees of Mr Gallagher in his employment with WMYAC and his accommodation expenses in the Pilbara.
  9. Since leaving the NNTT in August 2012, Lillian Maher has worked for RCD Consulting—a partnership of five consultants, four of whom were also previously employed at the NNTT.
  10. RCD Consulting is a business name owned by MGA Consulting, which in turn is wholly owned by Lillian Maher (and co-directed by Mr Gallagher).
  11. In March 2012 Michael Gallagher was instrumental in engaging RCD to undertake a consultancy for WMYAC regarding governance and strategic planning.
  12. In 2012, before Lillian Maher left the NNTT, RCD issued invoices to WMYAC totalling nearly $80,000 for services including professional film services by Michael Gallagher’s son, Daniel Gallagher; and communications, website updates and governance & strategic planning by Davina Boyd—the daughter of a close family friend of Michael Gallagher.
  13. Mr Gallagher denied to the WMYAC Board that he or his wife were associated with RCD.

EXTRACTS – NATIONAL INDIGENOUS TIMES:

  • The National Indigenous Times sent questions to Mr Gallagher which included whether it was legally and morally appropriate for him to have his companies engaged for their services by the Wirlu-murra […] At the time of going to press there had been no response from Mr Gallagher.
  • Bruce Woodley [Chairman of WMYAC] said he remained unrepentant about his allegations against Mr Gallagher and the Fortescue Metals Group.
  • Bruce Woodley’s staggering suite of allegations against Mr Gallagher included describing him as a puppeteer who controlled decisions made by the organisation.
  • “I just want to see my people control our affairs, our business, our Country. We must make the decisions and we represent our people. It should not be Michael Gallagher or anyone else, not Fortescue, not anyone who tells our people what to do […] I also want to see peace with all Yindjibarndi, all of us as one again, our hearts one. We can fix the problems if Yindjibarndi are left alone and then we can all do our business, work together and benefit. We can negotiate with one voice and with trust in our hearts”.
  • A Board member who spoke in confidence to the National Indigenous Times said: “We want him [Michael Gallagher] to step back or to step down. We don’t want to be led around like children. We are strong people and we shouldn’t be treated like we don’t know anything.”

DOWNLOAD FACT SHEET giving full context of, and describing the connection of Lillian Maher, Michael Gallagher & their private companies to FMG land access operations.

CONTACTS

Michael Woodley YAC CEO— mwoodley

George Irving YAC In-House Legal Counsel– gmirving

For media materials please contact media

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#wapol -> W #Australia Greens oppose Nationals’ plans to dam the Fitzroy River and promote broad scale land clearing in the Kimberley

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

MEDIA RELEASE

Greens oppose Nationals’ plans to dam the Fitzroy River and promote broad scale land clearing in the Kimberley

Tuesday 29th January 2012

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has criticized the National Party’s newly released ‘vision for agriculture’ as it relates to the Kimberley region, calling it a thinly veiled attempt to put the damming of the Fitzroy River back on the State’s agenda.

“I will oppose any attempt to dam the Fitzroy River for agriculture or any other purposes, and resist all moves to clear native vegetation for broad scale irrigated agriculture projects such as those proposed in the late 1990s and early 2000s for the cultivation of genetically modified cotton.

“Brendon Grylls and the Nationals have clearly never given up on ruining one of the last remaining major wild rivers in northern Australia for their own political ends.

“Studies that have been carried out on the feasibility of building dams on the Fitzroy River and establishing broad scale irrigated agriculture in the West Kimberley have all cautioned against the move on environmental and financial grounds.

“This is a foolish proposal by people who are driven by their egos and have no understanding of the Kimberley. It must be stopped once and for all,” Mr Chapple said.

Nationals Agricultural Policy: http://www.nationalswa.com/Portals/0/FINAL_Agriculture%20policy.pdf

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 9486 8255

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610 | WEB: http://robinchapple.com/

Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.

W #Australia #Indigenous #Environment still under threat despite new status -> Greens call for mining tenements over proposed Horizontal Falls Parks to be revoked

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

MEDIA RELEASE

Greens call for mining tenements over proposed Horizontal Falls Parks to be revoked

Tuesday, 29th January 2013

Greens (WA) member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has called on the Barnett/Grylls government to revoke all mining exploration tenements in the proposed new Horizontal Falls National Park and Marine Park area.

“If the Premier is serious about conservation at the Horizontal Falls he needs to ensure there is no mining or exploration in the area that might damage what he has referred to as the ‘pristine environment that surrounds them’, Mr Chapple said.

“As the Premier says, the Horizontal Falls are an ‘internationally-renowned tourist attraction’ in a spectacular natural environment that deserves the highest level of protection.

“This will only be possible if mining is prohibited as, when you examine the proposal, you can see that more than fifty per cent of the land and thirty per cent of the marine area earmarked for inclusion in the park is under mining exploration tenements.

“The tenements belong to a number of companies including Hard Rock Resources, Vertu Investments, Hill 50 Gold Mines, FMG Resources, Cliffs Asia Pacific Iron Ore, Money, Kimminco, Pegasus Metals and Koolan Iron Ore exploring for minerals such as copper and iron ore.

“While the Premier’s announcement mentioned recreational fishing, pearling and tourism continuing in the area he failed to acknowledge that under current arrangements mining interests will continue to exist and be supported by the Government.

“Colin Barnett has called it ‘one of the most significant conservation initiatives in WA history’. It could also be seen as a pre-election ploy to deflect attention from his unpopular and divisive promotion of the destruction of James Price Point,” Mr Chapple said.

Encl: Map of Proposed Horizontal Falls National Park, including Mining Exploration Tenements

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 9486 8255

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610 | WEB: http://robinchapple.com/

Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.

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W #Australia Smart water meters cheaper than desalination @AlisonXamon

Smart water meters cheaper than desalination

24 January 2013

WA Greens Water Spokesperson Alison Xamon MLC says smart water meters, not more desalination plants, must be amongst the measures to avoid a future water crisis in WA.

Commenting on the latest results of a trial of smart water meters in Kalgoorlie, Ms Xamon said the nearly one billion litre annual water-saving resulting from a $4 million investment in the new technology shows that the household water-use measuring devices are a cheaper option in the long-term than desalination.

“Obviously it is early days for smart water meter technology and I welcome further analysis of the trial. However, a back-of-the-envelope calculation tells us that smart water meters are better economic sense for addressing our long-term water needs than building more costly desalination plants, which is what we may be looking at again in six or seven years’ time,” Ms Xamon said.

“I applaud the efforts made by individuals and businesses, including the Water Corporation, to save water in recent years. But we are not seeing it backed by political will to think long-term about our water supply beyond ‘let’s build another desalination plant if and when we need it’.

“Desalination plants are hugely energy-intensive, and that creates a massive liability for all water-users in the future because energy prices are only heading one way – up.

“In contrast, water efficiency is the most economically efficient solution to averting a future water crisis.

“The Greens have a two-part strategy to addressing WA’s water needs over the next 15 years. The first part of the strategy focuses on how we can best meet our drinking water needs in the long term without having to build more desalination plants and the second part examines how we need to be better managing the State’s ground and surface water resources, which are currently being abysmally mismanaged by the Department of Water.

“We will unveil both parts of our water strategy in the coming weeks, but you can be sure smart water meters will be included.”

FACT BOX

· Combined annual electricity needs of Kwinana and expanded (two-stage) Binningup desalination plants: 765,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, equivalent to the average annual electricity needs of 127,000 Perth households (Ref: http://watercorporation.com.au/_files/Desalination_windpower.pdf and P23, Southern Seawater Desalination Project, Water Corporation – Report and recommendations of the Environmental Protection Authority, Report 1302 at http://epa.wa.gov.au/EPADocLib/2797_Rep1302Desal_61008.pdf. Average Perth household annual electricity needs calculated as 6000 Kilowatt-hours a year – see http://watercorporation.com.au/_files/Desalination_windpower.pdf.)

· The Southern Seawater Desalination Plant at Binningup cost $955 million to construct and will have a capacity of 100 billion litres on completion. This can be compared to the roughly $4 million cost for nearly one billion litres of water per year saved in the Kalgoorlie/Pilbara smart meter projects. (I.e. $9.55 million/billion litres v. $4 million/billion litres saved). The smart water meter cost includes hardware and installation. Once installed, smart water meters have a life span of about 10 years and have negligible ongoing costs.

Hon Alison Xamon MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region

Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051

Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931

Phone: (08) 9272 1718

Fax: (08) 9272 1719

Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services, Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering

#Indigenous # mining – Greens welcome High Court investigations into Yindjibarndi and #FMG controversy

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

MEDIA RELEASE

Greens welcome High Court investigations into Yindjibarndi and FMG controversy

23rd January 2012

Greens member for the Mining and Pastoral region Robin Chapple MLC has welcomed the news that officers from the High Court are conducting an investigation into allegations of improprieties regarding a Former State Manager of the National Native Title Tribunal.

“I was shocked when last November I saw a 7.30 Report story that alleged conflicts of interest by both the former NNTT State Manager and her partner, a former Fortescue Metals Group employee, in respect of their involvement with FMG’s bid to mine in Yindjibarndi country.

“What I saw in that story, especially in the footage of the meeting between FMG, Yindjibarndi and Wirlu-murra held in March 2012 set my mind whirring with questions, none of which have been answered to date.

“It is to the benefit of everybody that we get to get to the bottom of this matter as soon as possible.

“I congratulate the NNTT President Graeme Neate for launching the inquiry’” Mr Chapple said.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 9486 8255

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610 | WEB: http://robinchapple.com/

Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.

WTF Colin? W #Australia Barnett Govt gives #Chevron no limits on carbon emissions @RobinChappleMLC slams the Minister against the Environment for poor environmental decisions

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

MEDIA RELEASE

Robin Chapple MLS slams the Minister against the Environment for poor environmental decisions

23 January 2013

US energy giant Chevron’s massive Wheatstone LNG project will not have any carbon emission restrictions after the State Government ignored its own independent advice and removed them.

The move comes after Chevron’s claim in July that the Federal Government’s carbon tax, which came into effect on July 1, had made the conditions redundant.

Despite the Environmental Protection Authority last month insisting the conditions complemented rather than duplicated the tax, Mr Marmion ignored the advice and upheld Chevron’s request. This was despite a report by independent consultants, Meta Economics, concluding that "Chevron’s case for throwing out all greenhouse gas requirements … is poor"

Chevron will only be required to report its emissions annually, even though the $40 billion Pilbara project could increase WA’s carbon emissions by 13.5 per cent.

Greens WA spokesperson for climate change, Robin Chapple MLC had this to say about the decision today:

“This kind of social and environmental irresponsibility, in the wake of independent advice, should be open to legal challenge and the Minister called upon to resign. In the wake of a similar decision to scrap pollution restrictions on the Browse LNG project, the people of our community have the right to start calling Minister Marmion, ‘The Minister against the Environment’, as he clearly has no intention of making appropriate environmental decisions when big industry starts to apply pressure.

The Browse development alone could increase WA’s greenhouse emissions by as much as 52 per cent compared with 2007 levels. Marmion going against advice from his own Department and allowing foreign interests free reign on our environment beggars belief’” said Chapple.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the State Government’s incompetence meant Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke would need to take responsibility.

“Minister Marmion has excused this extraordinary dereliction of duty by fobbing it off to Canberra. In the face of mounting damage caused by our rapidly changing climate, the Barnett Government has effectively declared it is not competent to run a modern state."

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 9486 8255

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610 | WEB: http://robinchapple.com/

Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.