A Fairfax media report says private spies were hired to infiltrate an anti-coal movement protesting against mine expansions at Maules Creek and Boggabri.
The mines are run by Whitehaven Coal and Idemitsu Australia Resources. Fairfax says it has identified a private company staffed by former military and intelligence operatives contracted to infiltrate the activist movement, though it remains unclear who paid for the service.
Several of the undercover operatives — who reportedly work for the Centre for Intelligence and Risk Management — were discovered by activists, and one was confronted on camera.
A complex chain of companies masks who hired the firm however Whitehaven denies any involvement. It uses a security company, Verifact, to protect the sites.
“Verifact are contracted to monitor access onto site to ensure compliance with our workplace health and safety obligations,” it said in a statement.
Whitehaven’s chairman is former deputy prime minister Mark Vaile, and it was owned by Nathan Tinkler until he sold out in June.
There’s more here.
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