• Yawuru man Brian Wilkinson was only 12 weeks into his contract. (NITV)Source: NITV
CEO and Yawuru man Brian Wilkinson is fired just three months into his contract after questioning how the mining royalties were being spent.
Dan Butler

27 Apr 2021 - 3:41 PM  UPDATED 28 Apr 2021 - 2:55 PM

The Kimberly Land Council has dropped its CEO after he attempted to uncover information around the spending of millions of dollars in mining royalties. 

Yawuru man Brian Wilkinson was just 12 weeks into his term as head of the council, one of the country's oldest, when the board terminated his contract last week. 

Mr Wilkinson, a former police officer, had been probing the financial dealings of the land council's associated trust, the Kimberly Sustainable Development Trust, which is the primary holding entity for the vast mining royalties accrued in the region. 

Following mounting community concern around how those royalties were being spent, Mr Wilkinson requested documents and financial records from the trust, a move supported by independent legal advice. 

Recent documentation provided to the KLC board reported that only 20 per cent of the trusts funds had been released, and that operational costs had skyrocketed by more than 300 per cent. 

The moves by the now-former CEO to bring more transparency to the operation of the trust fund brought him into direct conflict with his predecessor Nolan Hunter. 

Mr Hunter had served as the land council's CEO for a decade, and is currently a director of Kimberly Sustainable Development Pty Ltd, the company that manages the trust. 

Mr Wilkinson's requests for the trust's documentation was denied by Mr Hunter.

“Nolan was very upset and agitated at my review and request for information from KSDT,” said Mr Wilkinson in a submission to legal advisors. 

“At one point, Hunter said: ‘You need to remember that your (sic) still on six months probation and I suggest you have other bigger things to do’.”

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