Land council boss referred to corruption watchdog

A Northern Territory land council boss has been referred to the national corruption watchdog for allegedly misusing millions of dollars in mining royalties.

Anindilyakwa Land Council chief executive Mark Hewitt came under scrutiny during a federal audit of the Territory's four land councils.

Questions remain after it was discovered he was co-chief executive of Winchelsea Mining on remote Groote Eylandt, while simultaneously serving as the head of the island's land council.

The matter has been referred to the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

The commission confirmed it has received a referral from the National Indigenous Australians Agency which began an independent review into the land council which has not been released to the public. 

"The commission is assessing the referral, as it does with all referrals," it said in a statement. 

Mr Hewitt has denied the allegations and since become the sole chief executive of the remote land council based on Groote Eylandt.

In June, senate estimates hearings were told Winchelsea Mining received more than $16 million of royalties money from the land council to help build infrastructure to support the company's manganese project.

The land council and Mr Hewitt have been contacted for comment.

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