Mining windfall handed to union boss
CLANCY YEATES, MICHAEL WEST AND ANDREW CLENNELL
March 18, 2010
A former union boss, John Maitland, has amassed a $9.8 million stake in a controversial coalmining project, after the state government granted an exploration permit through a deal which has been slammed as a favour to union mates.
Mr Maitland, previously the national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, holds the stake in NuCoal, which recently listed on the sharemarket with plans to export up to 4.3 million tonnes of coal a year.
Its key asset is an exploration licence granted by the state Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, in 2008 to Doyles Creek Mining, in which Mr Maitland held an 11 per cent stake.
Through a press release issued on Christmas Eve, Mr Macdonald granted the licence for $1.2 million without running a tender, sparking accusations of a special deal for union mates.