A Guadalcanal leader demands that any future company operating the Gold Ridge mine must not serve the interest of any ‘foreign’ national leader.
Provincial member for Vulolo ward and minister for Provincial Affairs , Patrick Kennedy, said the recent revelation that former deputy opposition leader, Matthew Wale, has been benefiting from a tailored scholarship for his children is a slap on the face of Gold Ridge people.
“Not all the landowning families have the privilege to be under the company’s scholarship, why does the company overlooked us and paid lavish fees for the children of former Member of Parliament (MP) for Aoke/ Langalanga?” Kennedy questioned.
“He’s not even a Guadalcanal leader, it is really a slap on the face of all us- the landowning groups of Gold Ridge mine,” Kennedy stated.
The Vulolo ward member further added that Allied and St Barbara have set a bad precedence and landowners will not tolerate such preferential treatment come the next company.
“As the provincial member responsible for the Gold Ridge area, I urge the next company not to repeat what Allied and St Barbara did,” Patrick Kennedy said.
“We also have people who are well versed with the workings of the government, and why the company does not use them is anybody’s guess,” Kennedy highlighted.
Kennedy reiterated that any new company to mine the Gold Ridge must deal with landowners on a fair and level playing field.
“We cannot afford to lose our privilege to a national leader that is not even responsible for affairs of Guadalcanal Province as a whole,” Kennedy highlighted.
“The next company must stop such dealing and as landowners, we will ensure that it will not happen again under the auspices of a new company,” the Vulolo ward member stated.
On Friday last week, media brought to light lavish payments of school fees for children of Wale by Allied Gold and St Barbara.
The school fees ranges from AUD 111,000 to 130,000 per annum and the children are attending an Anglican Grammer School in Brisbane.
Apart from the scholarship, Wale was also enjoying other benefits such as pushing for a relative of his to work as a consultant for Allied, and Wale also received a $13,500 being for ‘office set- up expenses’.
St Barbara is a public listed company and it is in the best interest of its shareholders to have a robust and effective anti- bribery and anti- corruption policy in place.