Report: Spies Were Hired To Infiltrate A Group Of Australian Anti-Coal Activists

A media report has uncovered a network of spies targeting an anti-coal movement (Photo: Getty Images)

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.