Whistleblower reveals FMG Mining deal bombshell
Today Solicitor Kerry Savas, who spent more than a year representing the interests of the splinter Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, told The National Indigenous Times that the organisation was a “quickly formed front” to enable the Fortescue Metals Group to circumvent negotiations with the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation to secure mining rights on Yindjibarndi lands in the Pilbara worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He said FMG created the Wirlu-Murra because they would comply with Fortescue’s wishes for land access for a fraction of the compensation reasonably sought by YAC on behalf of the Yindjibarndi People for the damage that would be caused to their country, society and culture as a result of FMG’s Solomon Project.
Mr Savas said Mr Gallagher told him, “Fortescue always gets its land access agreements signed one way or another, he told me that Fortescue’s tactic was to have one of their own people get established within the Wirlu-Murra group to win their hearts and minds […] In June 2011, Michael [Gallagher] told me he had resigned from Fortescue around Christmas 2010 and just after the formation of the Wirlu-Murra group, and from that time he called himself a consultant for appearances sake so he could deny being a Fortescue employee and avoid Fortescue and himself being criticised for interfering and influencing Aboriginal groups. I asked him what possible benefit Fortescue could gain from having him covertly working in Roebourne with Wirlu-Murra. He replied plenty— just look at how Fortescue has successfully obtained access agreements from Nyaparli and Palyku people in the northern Pilbara.Read the full article National Indigenous Times
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