Kalkadoons kept in the dark over changes

ANGER is growing among the Kalkadoon people at the lack of information regarding the demise of Kalkadoon Community Pty Ltd.

Last week the Kalkadoon Community Pty Ltd placed a public notice in The North West Star, announcing that Zane Hughes had 'concluded his employment as CEO' and Doug Bruce had resigned as director and chair.

The notice also announced the appointment of Noeleen Dempsey as the new chair of Kalkadoon Community.

Kalkadoon elder Uncle Clive Sam has called for a full audit of Kalkadoon Community's books and said he was very disappointed in Mr Bruce and Mr Hughes.

"When they left from there, they didn't notify the Kalkadoon nation that they were going," Uncle Clive said. "For the last four or five weeks the office has been closed.

"This has affected every one of us, and we are very angry about all the things we don't know.

"We are the grassroots people and should have all been on the same page but no information has been given to the people and we are all still left out in the dark," he said.

"We don't know what's going on but we are trying to work it out for ourselves, with bits of information from here, there and everywhere, within the community.

"Word travels fast, no matter what you do wrong in Mount Isa."

"We would like to see an auditor's report and for someone to go right through the books so we can find out if there is money missing from the corporation," he said.

"If you have a company and its closed for four or five weeks, that's a lot of lost revenue.

"Everyone suspects that something is going on. If you've got nothing to hide, be up front and tell the truth.

"This is an insult to the Kalkadoon people, we are still very angry, each and every one of us as individuals from the oldest to the youngest.

He said the Kalkadoon nation won its native title determination on December 12 last year.

"39,000 square kilometres of this country has been given back by the State and Federal government but for all of us mob, it seems like we have nothing to do with our country.

"It's been run by a dictatorship, we have seen no benefits, no jobs, nothing," he said.

Uncle Clive said the first thing that needed to be done was the establishment of a Board of Elders, separate from the Kalkadoon Community.

"This is the only community that has not got a Board of Elders. We want to have a say in our country, we want to be able to look after our sites and our country, establish rangers who can look after country.

"We want it to be an ongoing thing where we can promote our country for tourism," he said.

A spokesperson for Xstrata said there was no change in Xstrata's commitment to working with the Kalkadoon Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, its board and executive under the various agreements that were in place.

"We recognise the importance of the history, culture and traditions of the Aboriginal community in Mount Isa and will work with them as appropriate to support and maintain these," the spokesperson said.

Attempts by The North West Star to contact Noeleen Dempsey were unsuccessful.

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