Saturday 15 December 2018
Adani’s claims that W&J have ‘certified’ Woongal are false, disrespectful and underhanded, say Traditional Owners
Adani’s announcement that Woongal Environmental Services has been given a contract to monitor environmental outcomes on Wangan and Jagalingou country has drawn condemnation from the W&J Council as false, and typical of the disrespectful and underhanded way in which Adani treats Traditional Owners.
W&J Traditional Owner and lead spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said, “The claim that Woongul is a ‘Wangan and Jagalingou certified business’ is false. No decision of the native title party has ever been made to certify this company. This announcement is in breach of the terms of Adani’s own purported ILUA”.
A ‘Wangan and Jagalingou certified business’ is a reference to a business accredited in accordance with the process set out in the Adani ILUA. Mr Burragubba says this process has never been followed.
“We will seek legal advice on blocking this contract. We are tired of other people misrepresenting us and benefiting at our expense. Adani’s announcement is an insult. Other people have been given authority over our country and our environment, while many W&J Traditonal Owners and families have been deliberately excluded from any input into cultural heritage protection and environmental management.
“We know Adani must give the appearance of starting work, and they like to hide behind supposed Aboriginal employment benefits to withstand criticism of their destructive proposal and compromised ethics. Adani has bypassed the native title party, and it’s obligations to us under the law, and made another untrustworthy announcement.
“We can’t trust them to do business and we can’t trust them with our lands and waters. Adani say there is no threat to our sacred Doongmabulla Springs, yet they are paying mining industry outsiders to monitor them for damage.
“They say they are building long-term sustainable business opportunities with Traditional Owners of the land, yet the company they have contracted has no Wangan and Jagalingou people involved. And there is no guarantee of any Traditional Custodians with knowledge of our land and culture being engaged to protect the environment.
“They say they will bring cultural knowledge of ‘the Indigenous people’ into the Adani business and ‘learn from Traditional Owners’, while they breach all protocols under Aboriginal law and custom.
“The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council call on Woongal – and the company’s Western Kangalou and Gurang Gurang directors – to stay off our country. This is a profound act of disrespect and allows Adani to divide Aboriginal people for their own gain.” he concluded.
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