MEDIA STATEMENT – 21 August 2015
The Wangan and Jagalingou people, traditional owners of Queensland’s Galilee Basin, today announce we have formally reconstituted the group representing our native title claim, and now stand together stronger than ever for our imminent fight in the Federal Court to stop Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, the biggest in Australian history.
As a people, we have voted down deals with Adani twice now. Our Family Council has continued to oppose Adani’s moves against us. And now our native title claim ‘Applicant’ properly reflects our people and our decisions.
We look forward now to moving onto our challenge in the Federal Court, which is set for a directions hearing on 9th September 2015.
Adrian Burragubba, senior traditional owner and spokesperson, said, “Today, the Federal Court registered our new Applicant, ending the fabricated myth that the majority of Wangan and Jagalingou do not oppose Adani’s mine. This dispels the malicious disinformation spread by Adani, which has always tried to paint our community as terminally divided.
“In any group, there are a variety of views. But a clear majority of our people said no to the Carmichael mine. Twice. This decision is final. What part of our “democracy” do they not understand?
“Adani is dishonestly seeking to divide and conquer; a tactic that mining companies have used against indigenous peoples standing up for their rights the world over.
“Once and for all: my people do not consent to this mine and never will. We have consistently fought the Carmichael mine and will do so until this Indian mining giant packs its bags and goes home.
“We have had a gutful of Adani and its dirty tactics used against our people. These were revealed in a shocking expose of the devious lengths this corporate rogue will go to in its attempt to crush us, and override our decision to formally reject Carmichael.
“Nor will we stand by while the media mouthpieces of Adani and the government insult us, representing us in story after story as simple, gullible patsies bought off by greenies. We are calling this out for what it is: a colonial attitude, and a repugnant mischaracterisation of us as a people. It is just the latest version of our dispossession. These misrepresentations do us serious harm.
“Let’s set the record straight, again, and for the last time. We are an independent group of traditional owners. We cannot be bought and sold by anyone, including outsiders like Adani. They offered us millions to consent to the ruination of our future. We rejected a Land Use Agreement with them – twice. We told them to take their shut up money and go home. We told them we autonomously determine our own interests. This means self-determination without dependency on mining.”
“Adani’s proposed Carmichael project would be an unmitigated disaster, for my people, my culture, and for the environment, as we told the world’s biggest investment banks on our recent world tour. It seems they agree. Standard Chartered, the mine’s premier financier, walked away from the mine last month soon after our meeting, following an exodus of its peers.
“The tide of history is on our side. We are heartened by the huge groundswell of community support behind us. 100,000 Australians have signed our petition to tell Adani to get their hands off our land.
“We know that our many supporters – in the environment movement, social justice groups and elsewhere – will continue to stand with us as we take our case to the Federal Court, and, if necessary, all the way to the highest court in the land.
“When we say no, we mean no,” Mr Burragubba said.
Background to Wangan and Jagalingou people, Adani and the Carmichael coal mine.
Background to Carmichael coal mine and rail project
Spokesperson: Adrian Burragubba 0417 607 053
Background: Anthony Esposito 0418 152 743