Telstra fined $50m for unconscionable sales

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 25 : 27-Nov-20

Telstra has agreed to pay a $50 million penalty over the sale of mobile phone plans to 108 Indigenous consumers between 2016 and 2018. The sales were made at five Telstra stores in Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission stating the sales were made despite the telco knowing that the Indigenous consumers did not understand the product and could not afford it. The ACCC has described Telstra’s action as "unconscionable", while it noted the customers had been left with average debts of $7,400.

CORPORATES
TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Rio in Pilbara royalties scandal

Original article by Nick Evans
The Weekend Australian – Page: 19 & 22 : 8-Aug-20

Rio Tinto has advised directors of the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation that royalties from the Yandicoogina iron ore mine in the Pilbara have been underpaid for a number of years. The resources giant has paid the GAC some $40m plus interest to cover the underpayments, but the GAC is said to have requested a full audit of Rio Tinto’s royalty payments and access to the underlying data that it uses to calculate regular payments. The Yandicoogina land use agreement was signed in 1997.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, GUMALA ABORIGINAL CORPORATION

Call to strip Rio of global ranking

Original article by Victoria Laurie
The Australian – Page: 5 : 9-Jul-20

Rio Tinto is the highest-ranking mining company on the annual Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, which assesses 200 of the world’s largest listed companies in terms of their human rights record. Indigenous and human rights groups have called for Rio Tinto to be removed from the Benchmark in response to its destruction of ancient rock shelters in the Pilbara. Vale was suspended from the Benchmark in 2019 following a dam collapse in Brazil.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, CORPORATE HUMAN RIGHTS BENCHMARK, VALE SA

Coalition seeks to sidestep high court ruling that Aboriginal non-citizens can’t be deported

Original article by Paul Karp, Calla Wahlquist
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 13-Feb-20

Attorney-General Christian Porter has indicated that the federal government may legislate to override the High Court’s majority decision that non-citizens of indigenous descent cannot be deported. Porter says the High Court ruling has implications for the government’s policy of deporting people who are convicted of serious crimes while in Australia on a visa. Legal experts have stated that it is too soon to determine the broader implications of the judgment.

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AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Forrest locks horns with WA government over native title court fight

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 11-Dec-19

Fortescue Metals Group is seeking special leave to appeal against a Federal Court ruling with regard to its Solomon iron ore mining hub in the Pilbara. Western Australia’s State Solicitors Office wants the High Court to dismiss Fortescue’s application, arguing that there are major flaws in its case. The Federal Court dismissed Fortescue’s appeal against a 2017 ruling in early October, effectively stating that it had constructed the mining hub without the consent of traditional land owners.

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FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, YINDJIBARNDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Road map for recognition

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 11-Jul-19

Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Australians, has told the National Press Club that the federal government intends to establish an indigenous voice to parliament. Wyatt also said he will push ahead with separate plans for a referendum to recognise indigenous people in the Constitution, and that he will seek to develop a model that will have the support of all sides of politics and the general public. Linda Burney, the shadow minister for indigenous Australians, says Labor is of the view that the indigenous voice should be enshrined in the Constitution.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Fortescue says $2.3b trumps Aboriginal voice in Parliament

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 26-Jun-19

Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines says the pure-play iron ore miner favours "practical" measures to address disadvantage in Aboriginal communities rather than supporting the proposal for an indigenous voice to Parliament. Fortescue announced on 25 June that it has awarded two contracts worth a combined $179m to Aboriginal-owned businesses; it has awarded $2.3bn worth of contracts to Aboriginal-owned business and joint ventures since 2011. BHP and Rio Tinto declared their support for an indigenous voice to Parliament in early 2019.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Land title ruling set to cost billions

Original article by Amos Aikman
The Australian – Page: 5 : 14-Mar-19

The High Court has upheld a previous ruling of the Federal Court, which found that the Ngaliwurru and Nungali peoples are entitled to compensation for "cultural loss" caused by the construction of infrastructure such as roads and water pipelines on native title land. The court ruling is limited to 1.26sq km of land at Timber Creek in the Northern Territory, but lawyers says it is likely to prompt similar compensation claims by native title holders across Australia.

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HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ASHURST AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, NORTHERN TERRITORY. DEPT OF THE CHIEF MINISTER

Windsor apology after Mundine defamed on Twitter

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 2 : 29-Nov-17

Tony Windsor has apologised to indigenous leader Warren Mundine after the latter claimed comments made by Windsor on Twitter amounted to defamation. Windsor, the former member for the federal seat of New England, had made the comments while watching Mundine on the ABC’s "Q&A" program on 27 November. Mundine said Windsor had implied he was "in the pocket" of mining company Adani. Windsor used Twitter to apologise to Mundine, and deleted the offending tweet.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, TWITTER INCORPORATED, ADANI MINING PTY LTD

Triple J moves Hottest 100 from Australia Day

Original article by Broede Carmody
The Age – Page: 3 : 28-Nov-17

Radio station Triple J will no longer count down its 100 top songs of the year on Australia Day, announcing on 27 November that it would move the Hottest 100 to the fourth weekend in January. Triple J stated a survey of listeners had found that 60 per cent had supported the change of date. The decision was initially prompted by an online petition started in August, with Triple J asked to move the Hottest 100 from Australia Day out of respect to Indigenous Australians. The Greens have welcomed the change, but federal Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield said he was "bewildered" by the change in date.

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TRIPLE J PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS