Federal Resources Minister, Senator Matt Canavan, is misrepresenting Wangan and Jagalingou people again, as he and his National Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, come down hard on Westpac. The big four bank announced a new policy which cuts Adani out of any future lending.
It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious, the National Party talking climate action and Aboriginal rights, and giving economic advice to a commercial bank. Here is the great ‘pork barreling’, coal burning and anti-land rights party of Australian history arguing for Aboriginal advancement, and lecturing banks on climate policy and how to do business.
All part of doing Adani’s bidding of course… Chairman Gautam Adani, made an unannounced visit to Queensland this weekend to reassure politicians “the decision would have no impact on plans for the multibillion-dollar mine.“ He met with Canavan.
Quid pro quo, no doubt, for the Federal Government bending over backwards to change the Native Title Act to suit Adani’s interests.
Canavan of course, like Mundine the week before, trotted out the convenient fiction as cover for trashing Aboriginal rights. Canavan claims Westpac “have also turned their back on the indigenous peoples of Queensland by this decision, because this mine in the Galilee Basin is supported by the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples. They met last year and voted on the mine, they voted on the mine 294 to one in support of it, yet that’s not good enough for Westpac”, he claimed in The Australian.
Westpac didn’t make a decision based on Aboriginal rights one way or the other. W&J was the last thing on its business mind, sadly.
But one more time for the record…
Adani didn’t ‘negotiate’ and achieve the free prior informed consent of the W&J people. The meeting, that all these barrackers for Adani’s mine cite, that seemingly voting 294 to 1, is only ‘a vote for the mine’ if it’s a true expression of the W&J traditional owners. But it’s not.
Over 220 of that meeting’s attendees are people who have never been involved in the W&J claim or decision making, and who are identified with other nations and claims, or didn’t identify an apical decent line.
They were bussed in and paid for at Adani’s considerable expense. The ‘natural majority’ of the claim group, who have three times rejected an ILUA with Adani, refused to participate in this stitch up of a meeting. They stayed away.
This is part of evidence presented in the objection to Adani’s attempt to register a land use deal for the Carmichael mine, and is included in our current case before the Federal Court to invalidate the application for registration of this sham deal as an ILUA.
The W&J Traditional Owner Council, including representatives of 9 of the 12 apical families, has upheld the original decisions of the W&J claim group to reject an ILUA with Adani, and has followed through on the mandate given it to object to Adani’s deal.
As usual, the only one blowing hot air here is Minister Canavan.