Home NewsAustralia Indigenous man on trial over alleged mining deal without consent of other traditional owners

Indigenous man on trial over alleged mining deal without consent of other traditional owners

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A Cape York man who allegedly struck a multi-million-dollar take care of a mining firm behind the backs of different conventional house owners and siphoned off money for his personal use has appeared in a Far North Queensland court docket.   

Ankamuthi man Larry Joe Woosup is on trial within the District Court docket in Cairns charged with two counts of fraud regarding an alleged deal he struck with Gulf Alumina Restricted, with out the consent of 75 different conventional house owners.

He has pleaded not responsible to each prices, by which it’s alleged he pocketed tons of of 1000’s of {dollars}.

The Bauxite Hills mine in Cape York, owned by Metro Mining which took over Gulf Alumina in 2016
Mr Woosup is alleged to have struck a take care of Cape Alumina over the mining of bauxite on native title land in western Cape York. (Equipped: Metro Mining)

On day one of many five-day trial, Crown prosecutor Claudia Georgouras instructed the court docket the mining deal involved a major parcel of native title land belonging to the Ankamuthi individuals in western Cape York.

“This case is about Mr Woosup utilizing his place as a standard proprietor of the land to signal an settlement permitting a mining firm, Gulf Alumina, to come back and mine on conventional land,” Ms Georgouras stated.

“That settlement allowed the mining firm to come back and mine on their land and it meant that the mining firm needed to pay royalties to the group.”

Accused ‘withdrew $110,000 in money’ 

Ms Georgouras instructed the court docket negotiations between Gulf Alumina and the group stalled in 2010 when a royalties settlement couldn’t be reached.

Mr Woosup allegedly recommenced negotiations with the mining firm in Could 2013 with out the data of different conventional house owners and in December 2013 signed an settlement with Gulf Alumina, permitting them to mine the land.

Ms Georgouras instructed the court docket Mr Woosup arrange a belief account with the Commonwealth Financial institution with an overdraft facility of $110,000, earlier than any mining royalties had been paid.

She stated he withdrew the whole quantity in money for private use.

He later opened one other belief account with the Queensland Nation Credit score Union, banked a Gulf Alumina cheque for $95,000 and once more withdrew the whole quantity in money.

Mr Woosup, who’s on bail, was in court docket with household. 

The trial, earlier than Decide Dean Morzone, is predicted to listen to from greater than a dozen witnesses. 

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