17th October 2023

Dear Mr. Flynn,

Your article submitted to the Northern Daily Leader on the 26th March 2015, where you passionately defended Whitehaven Coal’s operations and the Maules Creek Mine, caught the attention of many.

Your emphasis on truth, authenticity, and the importance of these values in election campaigns is commendable. However…

While these principles are crucial in political spheres, they are equally, if not more, vital in the corporate world, especially when addressing issues of racial discrimination and prejudice.

The recent racial incident involving Luke Mitterer, an employee at Whitehaven Coal, has raised significant concerns about the company’s culture and values.

And while you have been forthright in addressing the criticisms and challenges faced by Whitehaven Coal, especially in the context of the Maules Creek Mine, it is imperative that the same level of transparency and commitment be applied to address the racial incident and the broader implications it has for the company’s culture.

Paul Flynn‘s racist employee(s) at Maules Creek Mine

An Open Letter to Managing Director Paul Flynn of Whitehaven Coal

Your commitment to the local community, as highlighted in your article, is evident.

The Maules Creek Mine’s contribution to the Gunnedah Basin’s economy, the creation of jobs, and the proud fact that the Maules Creek workforce was allegedly 16 per cent Aboriginal are all commendable.

However, these achievements can quickly be overshadowed if incidents like the one involving Mr. Mitterer are not addressed with the same vigor and commitment.

And while you have rightly pointed out the falsehoods and misleading campaigns against Whitehaven Coal, it is essential to recognize that the company’s image is not solely defined by its operations but also by its values and the behavior of its employees.

The recent racial incident, while isolated, has the potential to cast a long shadow over Whitehaven Coal’s reputation.

As CEO of Whitehaven Coal, your leadership is crucial in navigating these challenging times.

Addressing the racial incident, ensuring that the company’s culture is free from prejudice, and fostering an environment of inclusivity and respect should be top priorities. Just as you have defended Whitehaven Coal’s operations and the Maules Creek Mine with facts and transparency, it is essential to address the racial incident with the same level of commitment and authenticity.

Mr. Flynn, while the challenges faced by Whitehaven Coal in the context of its operations are significant, the company’s commitment to fostering a culture of respect, inclusivity, and zero tolerance for racism is equally, if not more, important.

I urge you to take this incident as a call to action and lead Whitehaven Coal in reaffirming its commitment to these values.


Dean Foley
Concerned Citizen, “Traditional Owner” (claiment at Gomeroi Native Title), and Whitehaven Coal “RAP” Member

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