Fortescue using Legal System to Destroy Yindjibarndi
Following last week’s news that Fortescue Metals Group’s “set up and funded” a native title splinter group to circumvent the Yindjibarndi people’s opposition to Fortescue’s defrauding land access ‘agreement’; and reports of how an FMG agent worked as an ‘inside man’ to get FMG’s land access agreement signed “one way or another”—Investigative reporter Gerry Georgatos of the National Indigenous Times cuts closer to the bone with more on how former FMG Manager Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Gallagher, serves as the “eyes and ears” of Fortescue within the Wirlu-murra splinter.
The NIT reports that many Wirlu-murra members in fact want to reconcile with the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, and are now questioning their relationship with FMG: “This is true, Fortescue made us happen”—”We want to be one and we do not like being run by white people at Wirlu-murra”—”Fortescue and their lawyers have used our poverty against us and broken our hearts, made one into two.”
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The article also describes how FMG’s “war of attrition” on the Yindjibarndi is using the legal system in a strategy designed to destroy the Yindjibarndi’s ability to continue resisting the mining giant’s demands for an agreement to mine on their land; and how FMG was “not acting in good faith” of Native Title Act provisions when it created and then footed the bills of a splinter group to remove the recognised Native Title applicants.
Last week the NIT described a lavish Dampier Beach barbecue where the Wirlu-murra splinter group was formulated. Of this meeting FMG said: “We have no recollection of this event”. This week the NIT provides proof of the meeting (FMG paid for the catering, lawyers and their flights).
While evidence of FMG’s under-handed activities in dividing the Yindjibarndi community, subverting our native title rights and sweeping away our heritage keeps mounting, it is an indictment of both the Barnett and Gillard Governments that State and Federal authorities do nothing, and allow FMG’s aggressive, profiteering, development-at-any-cost actions to continue trashing Indigenous rights and culture.
When will the “Aboriginal affairs managers” in Government decide something must be done?
When will an independent Judicial Inquiry be conducted into FMG’s on-going attack against Native Title holders?