Traditional Owners fighting Adani mine query Labor’s support for Native Title Bill

MEDIA RELEASE
8 June 2017

Responding to reports that Labor has come to an agreement with the Turnbull government which will see passage of the contentious Native Title Bill in the Senate next week, Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s mine are calling on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to outline what consultation has occurred with Indigenous people which makes his party satisfied the Bill should now become law.

Shadow Minister Assisting for Resources, Mr Tim Hammond, is reported to have told a Perth resources conference today there was now a “settled position” with the Government and that the Opposition envisaged the bill would be passed next week.

Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, says “Labor made a bunch of noise about the failure of the Attorney General to conduct proper grassroots consultation with Aboriginal people on these important changes to native title laws.

“People deserve to hear from Labor what, if anything, has changed since mid May when it refused to vote for Adani’s Native Title Bill because consultation had been so shabby and amendments were all over the shop.

“Until Labor has been provided with evidence by the Turnbull government of appropriate consultation, and the Senate has seen the Bill as proposed, it should refuse to back it,” Mr Burragubba said.

For more information and to arrange interviews: Anthony Esposito, W&J Council advisor – 0418 152 743.

FURTHER BACKGROUND

  • Members of the Wangan and Jagalingou Registered Native Title Claimant, and on behalf of the Traditional Owners Council, are currently in the Federal Court seeking to strike out Adani’s purported Indigenous Land Use Agreement [ILUA], filed by Adani Mining with the National Native Title Tribunal. An ILUA has been opposed by the native title claim group on three occasions since 2012. The ILUA litigation includes four grounds and will be heard in March 2018.
  • One of the grounds is that Adani does not have a valid ILUA capable of registration, since the law was confirmed in the recent Federal Court decision in McGlade. The Federal Government has been attempting to push through amendments to the Native Title Act to overturn the ruling in McGlade and protect Adani’s interests.
  • W&J claim group have three times rejected an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Adani – in December 2012, October 2014 and March 2016. Adani does not have the consent of the Traditional Owners for its mine.
  • This is one of four legal actions W&J have underway in the Federal Court and in the Queensland Supreme Court.
  • The W&J Council vow to do everything in their power to stop Adani’s proposed mega-coal mine proceeding, and will fight all the way to the High Court if necessary.
  • Adani’s planned Carmichael mine – the biggest in Australian history – would destroy a vast tract of W&J’s ancestral lands and waters in the Galilee Basin.
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