A parliamentary inquiry has found insufficient evidence and an absence of a motive to suggest a mining company was behind racist signs found on a remote patrol station in the Goldfield’s region of Western Australia.
For the past 18 months, the Select Committee Into Mining On Pinjin Station has been conducting an inquiry into mining on Pinjin Station, which also included a number of racist signs which were found on the homestead property.
The committee was established in August 2018, following NITV New’s report of Aboriginal Elders Leo Thomas and Lawrence Thomas being the centre of a racists attack on their property located 140 km north-east from the city of Kalgoorlie.
In June 2018, Elders had found a number of signs around the homestead that said, ‘WE DESTROY BLACK NIGARS’ and ‘LEO AND LAWRENCE WILL END SAME AS ELIJAH’ [Doughty].
Pinjin Station runs under Tisala Pty Ltd, an Aboriginal pastoral company, and has been at odds with Melbourne-based Hawthorn Resources, which operates an open-pit gold mine nearby.
The committee conducted over 38 hours of hearings during the course of the Inquiry and spoke to Aboriginal Elders, the managing director of Hawthorn Resources, as well as other witnesses.
The inquiry looked into the long-running and ongoing commercial dispute between the mining company and the Pastoral company which lead to accusations, counter-accusations and conflicting evidence.
The Committee handed down 29 findings; two of them essentially cleared Hawthorn Resources of any involvement in the signs.