Aboriginal Corporation CEO David Collard fired after demanding $2.5m from government to allow tree planting in Perth
- Tree planting events along a Perth river canceled
- Whadjuk Aboriginal Corporation reportedly demands $2.5 million
- Frontman David Collard has now been fired from office
The leader of an aboriginal corporation who demanded $2.5 million to pass two tree-planting events has been fired from his position.
LandCare volunteers were to roll up their sleeves to plant 5,500 seedlings along Perth’s Canning River over the weekend.
But the event was stymied after Whadjuk Aboriginal Corporation chief executive David Collard demanded $2.5 million to allow it to take place, leading to confusion over Western Australia’s new Aboriginal heritage laws.
Whadjuk Aboriginal Corporation CEO David Collard (pictured) was sacked from his position, but the corporation insists it wasn’t because of the plantation saga.
He has now been fired from his position, but the corporation insists it wasn’t because of the plantation saga.
“The employment relationship with Mr. Collard ended in July 2023 and this was not related to the Canning River plantation,” the corporation said in a statement.
There are now serious fears that the seedlings are at risk of dying and going to waste.
“We have to bury them to get the most out of the moist soil,” said Stephen Johnston of South East Regional Land Care. seven news.
It comes after WA’s revamped Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act came into force with tougher penalties for damaging sites of traditional importance.
Many rivers, streams, and other tributaries are now considered ethnographic sites, requiring the highest level of assessment to change.
The Canning River is among those now recognized as a Site of Aboriginal Cultural Significance.
At least three community tree planting events have been canceled since the new laws went into effect a fortnight ago.
Thousands of seedlings were intended to be planted along Perth’s Canning River (pictured)
Canning Town Mayor Patrick Hall (left) and land care advocates are furious over the decision.
Frustrated mayors have pleaded with the WA government to step in and solve the problem.
“We’re here today in solidarity with some of these environmental groups saying, somebody needs to clear up this legislation, it’s turned into a disaster,” said Canning City Mayor Patrick Hall.
Western Australia’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti said it was “incredibly disappointing” that the Canning River planting had not gone ahead, but insisted that the state’s indigenous heritage regime had otherwise had a “pretty quiet” start, he reported. the aussie.
However, opposition leader Shane Love said the new law had led to “total chaos” and was acting as a handbrake on many industries.
He asked Dr. Buti to retire from the Aboriginal affairs ministry.
“If there is anyone to blame, it is Dr. Buti and his handling of this whole situation as a minister,” Love said.
“We told you before this happened that the community was not ready and it is very, very clear in the short time since the introduction of this law that there is a great deal of confusion and concern about what the regulations really mean and how businesses and Community groups and landowners can negotiate their way through this.’
Thousands of seedlings that were meant to be planted are now at risk of dying
Shadow Defense Minister Andrew Hastie, who is also a federal member of Canning, wants the new laws scrapped.
“The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage laws are only two weeks old and are already being used by an indigenous corporation to demand millions of dollars,” he wrote Sunday night.
‘It is time for Roger Cook (WA Prime Minister) to remove these divisive laws.’
The latest furore comes a week after the opening of the $232 million Mitchell Highway extension turned into chaos when two Aboriginal elders clashed over who had the right to perform the smoking ceremony.
Deputy Minister Rita Saffioti was seen at the launch hastily turning around to consult with an official, while Whadjak Noongar man Steve Jacobs argued with another indigenous man over who had the right to lead the ceremony.