W&J Traditional Owners win interim injunction in Federal Court

Media Release

  • Court order against Qld Government preventing native title extinguishment
  • Injunction hearing set for 30 January 2018, trial in March

Brisbane, 19 December 2017.  Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) representatives, seeking to prevent the extinguishment of their native title by the Queensland Government for Adani, have ensured that there will be no surrender of lands until the court hears their injunction application in late January.

Justice Reeves of the Federal Court made an order yesterday against the Qld Government, preventing any surrender of native title until the W&J application is heard. He also set the W&J interlocutory application for a hearing on 30 January 2018.

This full hearing is set for trial in March in the matter of Delia Kemppi & Others v Adani Mining Pty Ltd & Others.

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council Spokesperson, and one of the appellants, Adrian Burragubba said, “The interim injunction offers some respite. It ensures that extinguishment of our native title cannot be snuck through over the holiday period.

“Adani pressed hard and objected to the injunction. The Queensland Government sought to preserve its ability to advance swiftly on the Adani project, refusing to give an undertaking not to proceed. We are glad that they are restrained for now from taking away our rights in land without our consent.

“Extinguishment of native title is a very serious matter. The Queensland Government and Adani want to move quickly, ahead of our hearing in March in which we seek to void Adani’s supposed land use deal.  

“We have long argued Adani’s ‘Indigenous land use agreement’ (ILUA) is a sham, and that it should not have been registered. With the support of the W&J claim group who voted against the agreement for the fourth time on December 2, we are determined to prevent our land being taken without our consent and to protect our country and sacred places from destruction.  

“It is necessary for us to seek to restrain them. Any ILUA with Traditional Owners should be beyond reproach and demonstrate without doubt our free prior informed consent. Especially if extinguishment of native title results from it.

“We are satisfied that the Queensland Government chose not to oppose our application for an injunction. It is important to the public interest that the matters of justice we have brought are heard.

“We call on the Government to take a more pro-active role in standing up for our rights, and not Adani’s interests. The Government ignored us throughout the last term because they didn’t want to take no for an answer. It’s time they stopped to listen to us, and quit opposing us in the courts. Yesterday was a good start”, Mr Burragubba concluded.

Media contact: Anthony Esposito, W&J TO Council advisor – 0418 152 743.


Further background to Adani’s attempts to gain an ILUA


ABC News:

1 Dec 2017: Adani’s compensation for traditional owners ‘well below’ industry standard, report finds

2 Dec 2017: Adani accused of paying people to stack its meeting on crucial mine deal

3 Dec 2017: Adani mine: Traditional owners aiming to block native title ruling on mine site


Resolutions of the W&J authorisation meeting on the Adani ILUA,  2 December 2017

3 Dec 2017: W&J media release


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