Adani ‘investment decision’ meaningless without Indigenous consent

Latest News / Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
MEDIA RELEASE – 6 June 2017

Federal Court sets date for W&J litigation against Adani’s sham ILUA for March 2018

Native Title Bill still to pass, but won’t stop court action

On the day the Federal Court sets a hearing date for Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s proposed coal mine, the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council has labelled Adani’s announcement in Townsville as disingenuous.

Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, says “Adani can put on whatever song and dance they like but the reality is that we have never consented to Adani’s mine being constructed on our land.

“The company and the Queensland Government do not have an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with our people. We are fighting this mine of mass destruction, and no matter what the Senate does in its next sitting in terms of voting for the Native Title Bill, the Federal Court will hear our case against Adani’s phony deal.”

“Adani is going nowhere fast. They have no money for their project, and they don’t have the crucial Traditional Owners’ consent they need to build it. We have them in the Federal Court until March 2018 at least.”

Members of the Wangan and Jagalingou Registered Native Title Claimant 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.

Youth spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Ms Murrawah Johnson, giving a keynote address at the National Native Title Conference in Townsville tomorrow, says “Adani’s approach seems to be ‘fake it until you make it’, but the reality is that they can’t and won’t proceed in the face of our resistance”.

The Federal Court case will bring forward evidence to demonstrate that Adani did not negotiate and achieve the free prior informed consent of the W&J people. In fact, the meeting, which Adani and its barrackers claim achieved consent, with a 294 to 1 vote, is not a true expression of the W&J Traditional Owners.

Over 220 of the attendees at Adani’s meeting 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 descent line.

Many people were bussed in and paid for at Adani’s considerable expense. The majority of the claim group, which have three times rejected an ILUA with Adani, refused to participate in this stitch up of a meeting. Many members of the claim group stayed away.

For more information and to arrange interviews:

Anthony Esposito, W&J Council advisor – 0418 152 743.

BACKGROUND : The ILUA litigation

  • W&J are seeking Federal Court orders to strike out the purported Indigenous Land Use Agreement [ILUA] filed by Adani Mining with the National Native Title Tribunal. The ILUA would authorise ‘extinguishment’ of native title and allow the mine to proceed. 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 claimants 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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