Yind­jibarndi group board ruled in­valid

Pilbara News - - News - ■ Tom Zaun­mayr

Wirlu-murra Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion has wel­comed a Supreme Court de­ci­sion to re­fer the Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion to the Of­fice of the Reg­is­trar of In­dige­nous Cor­po­ra­tions.

Supreme Court Jus­tice Rene Le Miere found the or­gan­i­sa­tion had not validly ap­pointed di­rec­tors and there­fore a di­rec­tors’ meet­ing, and the res­o­lu­tions passed at the meet­ing in De­cem­ber, were in­valid.

Jus­tice Le Miere is now con­sid­er­ing whether it is nec­es­sary to ap­point a re­ceiver to YAC and the case is due back in court to­day.

John Sandy, who brought the case, said he hoped the de­ci­sion would give the Yind­jibarndi peo­ple a chance to re­pair the deep divi­sions in their com­mu­nity.

“I’m op­ti­mistic that this find­ing will give us a fresh start to unite all Yind­jibarndi peo­ple un­der a truly rep­re­sen­ta­tive or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he said.

“We are all Yind­jibarndi peo­ple, we share a com­mon his­tory and I be­lieve we can unite for a bet­ter fu­ture.”

Mr Sandy’s lawyer, Martin Ben­nett, told the court the en­tire YAC board had ceased to hold of­fice since last year’s Novem­ber 30 an­nual gen­eral meet­ing, in which no di­rec­tors achieved the re­quired 75 per cent ma­jor­ity.

He went on to tell the court a sub­se­quent meet­ing of di­rec­tors on De­cem­ber 16 was in­valid, as was the res­o­lu­tion at that meet- ing to grant 46 new YAC mem­ber­ships.

“Many of the mem­ber­ships granted at the De­cem­ber meet­ing were to ap­pli­cants who had pre­vi­ously been re­jected,” he said.

YAC di­rec­tor Mid­dle­ton Cheedy tes­ti­fied in court that the grant­ing of mem­ber­ships was aimed at putting an end to the dis­pute.

YAC chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Wood­ley also gave ev­i­dence at the trial.

Mr Sandy said he hoped the re­fer­ral to ORIC would pave the way for all Yind­jibarndi peo­ple to come to­gether again.

The two Roe­bourne-based cor­po­ra­tions have been at log­ger­heads for years over a min­ing roy­al­ties dis­pute in­volv­ing Fortes­cue Me­tals Group.

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