Warren Mundine has proven a poor choice to negotiate with local aboriginal groups, who have voiced their distrust in him for dealing with the Wallarah 2 coal mine.
After compensation negotiations with the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council broke down this year, Korean government-owned miner Kores hired the chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council to represent the company, SMH reported.
A spokesman for Kores said Mundine had been engaged by the company “to facilitate the resumption of discussions between Darkinjung ALC and Wallarah 2 on a land access agreement.”
However, land council CEO Sean Gordon said the ALC did not want to negotiate through Mundine.
“From our end there is distrust in his position as chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council and his general support for the mining industry,” Gordon said.
In March 2014 Darkinjung demanded $300 million in compensation for permission to run a rail spur over native land.
The demand amounted to approximately $2 per tonne for the life of the mine, to use rail on an area of land about 1750 by 40 metres square.
Wallarah 2 slammed the move, stating that it “had ongoing discussions with Darkinjung for many years regarding compensation for accessing Darkinjung land to build a rail spur connecting the existing railway line in order to transport coal to the port of Newcastle.”
“Wallarah 2 has offered Darkinjung a generous compensation package, including cash compensation, support for a proposed training centre, apprenticeships for local Aboriginals and tertiary scholarships over the life of the proposed mine,” it said in a company statement.
Wallarah 2 said the $300 million claim for the land “equates to $30 million per hectare, or $170 000 in land access fees for every lineal metre of railway track built across Darkinjung land.”
Kores formerly employed Nick Di Girolamo in 2012 to lobby for development of the Wallarah 2 mine, which was allowed by disgraced NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, despite campaigning on a platform to oppose the mine in 2011.
O’Farrell resigned in April after he was caught lying to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) about a $3000 bottle of wine gifted to him by Di Girolamo after his election win.