A close ally of independent Aboriginal senator Lydia Thorpe has savagely mocked mining billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and his wife Nicola over their split – as he criticized the impact of the family business on First Nations people.
Jenita Quinn-Bates, the glamorous face of the Black Sovereignty movement, confirmed she had split from her wife of 31 years after she released a statement on Wednesday night calling Mr Forrest a ‘rich dog’.
Ms Quinn-Bates said on Twitter: ‘How much better to have billions in stolen wealth than all the stolen land you have benefited so much from.’
‘Rich Doug and Wife’ ‘Split/Living Apart’. There are no plans for a divorce and he has transferred 1 billion to a new company in his name.’
He later told Daily Mail Australia he had ‘no respect’ for Mr Forrest, ‘who profited from destroying our land, water, stories and culture’.
The couple’s joint statement alongside scathing criticism was published in the Australian Financial Review, which read: ‘We have decided to separate. Our friendship and commitment to our families remains strong.’
Janet Quinn-Bates, the glamorous face of the Black Sovereignty movement, slammed Mr Forrest as a ‘rich dog’ after releasing a statement on Wednesday night confirming he had split from his wife of 31 years.
Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and Nicola Forrest (pictured), who have been married for 31 years and are worth more than $30 billion, have said they will now separate.
Mr Forrest, known by his nickname ‘Twiggy’, became Australia’s second richest man this year – behind rival mining magnate Gina Rinehart – with a fortune of $35.21 billion.
The couple’s wealth is largely amassed through their 36 per cent stake in iron ore miner Fourq Metals Group, which they founded in 2003 and is now the eighth-largest company on the ASX by market capitalisation.
Recently, both Mr and Mrs Forrest have funded programs to end discrimination between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through their Mindaru Foundation – named after her childhood home.
The charity has aspirations to increase domestic employment and entrepreneurship.
But Ms Quinn-Bates criticized the name, claiming she had ‘named her company after the site of a massacre’.
Mr Forrest employs many Aboriginal people at his Fortescue Minerals Group company, and has said employment is key to ending Aboriginal disadvantage.
Pictured: Andrew and Nicola Forrest with their daughters Grace and Sophia
Australia’s richest couple insist their split will have no impact on the strategic direction of their mining empire or their philanthropic ventures.
The foundation helps fund crisis response, and research into artificial intelligence and cancer treatments.
Mindaru in the Pilbara region was the site of a massacre in July 1869 in which an estimated 20 people lost their lives.
Ms Quinn-Bates said Mr Forrest’s efforts were a ‘perfect example’ of why she supported a No vote in Parliament.
“Those who have no right to speak for us, stop doing it,” he said.
In 2020, Mr Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group was locked in a land-use battle with traditional owners in Western Australia’s Pilbara region after they refused to sign a land access agreement without seeing future plans for the site.
Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation director Jocelyn Hicks said at the time that traditional owners were seeking more information about Fortescue’s plans.
Janet Quinn-Bates cuts a striking figure in her stunning dress in the colors of the tribal flag, matched with a pearl necklace and her chic protest shades.
Traditional Pilbara landowners, known collectively as the Indzibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (above) celebrate their victory against Fortescue Minerals after a marathon legal battle that resulted in a Federal Court ruling that they had exclusive native title.
‘We know that if FMG is given their mining lease, we have no power to stop them destroying our sites and damaging our care facilities,’ he said.
The tribal group claimed that they had issued six dispute notices to Fortescue Metals over the use of the land in a span of one year.
The East Gurma people have lost an estimated 434 traditional sites to development.
More recently, native title expert Cado Muir called on Mr Forrest to ‘not shirk his legal responsibility’ regarding the payment of native title compensation.
Mr Muir said: ‘There is an expectation in society that these companies that benefit from taking resources from our country, from First Nations or the Australian population generally, adhere to certain standards and ethical behaviour.
‘It’s part of doing business in Australia today. All credit to the programs he has run, but you cannot shirk your legal responsibilities.’
Sofia Zara shared an intimate clip of herself with her mining magnate dad Andrew (far right) and wife Nicola (far left)
Quinn-Bates began her TV career with the ABC in Alice Springs
Daily Mail Australia has sought comment from Mr Forrest’s representatives.
Ms Quinn-Bates is an outspoken Aboriginal advocate who advocates a No vote ahead of the Voice to Parliament referendum later this year.
She became the overnight face of the Black Sovereignty movement and the progressive No Vote after appearing alongside Lydia Thorpe at a Voice to Parliament press conference in June.
The 29-year-old cut a striking figure in an outfit in the colors of the tribal flag, matched with a pearl necklace and chic sunglasses that resembled the word ‘no’.
He was briefly Ms Thorpe’s media adviser before stepping down in April and is a former ABC journalist who won the Walkley Scholarship.
His Aboriginal roots are from Broken Hill in central-west NSW – until his father and his siblings were taken from their family as part of the Stolen Generation when he was just six years old.
How Foresters Made Their Money
Andrew Forrest found early success as a stockbroker for Kirk Securities and Jackson.
But the ambitious entrepreneur laid the foundation for his $32 billion mining fortune in mining in 1994 by founding Anaconda Nickel Limited, now known as Minara Resources.
He was ousted as CEO in 2001 when the company nearly collapsed, but within two years he took control of Allied Mining and Processing, renaming it Fortescue Metals Group.
Fortescue had iron ore mining in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, which saw Forrest’s wealth explode on the back of exports to China.
Mr. Forrest was famously ambitious, borrowing heavily and spending $1 billion to $2 billion building roads and railroads to support his new mines.
Some of his operations, including mining on traditional lands without treaty, were highly controversial.
In 2019 he lost a High Court ruling that awarded native title to the Solomon Hub iron ore mine, which is located on Indjibarandi land.
The ruling means the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation will pursue millions of dollars in damages – something Fortescue has vowed to fight.
In recent years Mr. Forrest has diversified into sustainable energy sources, including hydrogen.
It also has agricultural operations to capitalize on China’s growing appetite for meat and dairy products.