We are not just on the frontline… we are the frontline

Stories / Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

The Wangan Jagalingou Council has been at the forefront of efforts to stop the Adani Carmichael mine. Our ancestral lands and waters stand to be destroyed by this mega-mine. Our laws and culture are under sustained attack.

As the First Nations people of Wangan and Jagalingou country, we are not just on the frontline… we are the frontline. 

And the threats pile up. 

In a shocking new low, Adrian Burragubba and his son, our cultural heritage protector, Coedie McAvoy, have been specifically targeted by Adani. They are, along with all other members of the family council, now subjected to Supreme Court orders brought on by Adani. These orders allow the company to bring in the police and have our people arrested and jailed if we ‘trespass’on ‘Adani’s land’ to conduct ceremony at our cultural sovereignty camp and corroboree ground.

What extremes will Adani go to in trying to crush our resistance to their plundering of our country?

We are not just on the frontline… we are the frontline.

Our latest video takes you to our fight on country.

Our intention with our sovereignty camp was and still is to make peace with the Ancestors in solemn spiritual ceremonies, practicing our law and custom, before Adani’s destruction commences. But our ceremonial area is now on the land the Queensland Government gave to Adani, after extinguishing native title from under us.

Adani have fenced in our corroboree ground, and fenced us out. We are deprived of our liberty to be on those grounds. 

We are holding Gautam Adani directly responsible and we will take legal action against him if he interferes with our sacred sights. We will use any legal means available to defend our cultural rights and our identity as an independent First Nation. This will continue until his company is removed from our land.

We will not surrender. But we need your ongoing support.

Our Defence of Country has required an extraordinary effort as we have battled the might of State and Federal Governments, and the massive corporate power of Adani and their media and industry backers, over many years.

Our resistance is renowned, and our hundreds of thousands of supporters across the country are a source of great strength to us. Thank you all!

Maintaining our presence on the country. Defending our cultural rights and sacred sites.

As a result of our stand, the pressure and harassment we experience from Adani is enormous. We face corporate bullying, criminalisation for practicing our culture on the land, and a discriminatory legal system that is used against us by Adani and their endless supply of highly paid legal attack dogs and other minions. 

Our right to self-determination and to free, prior and informed consent has been trashed by Adani and never recognised and respected by our Governments.

Recently, W&J cultural leader Adrian Burragubba was bankrupted by Adanifor attempting to use the courts to bring about land justice for our people. Our elders who stood with him in the courts also remain threatened with further punitive cost orders and bankruptcy.

The W&J Council families have always held the line against the wave of proposed Galilee Basin coal mining on our Country. But we are subject to these ‘restraining orders’; and our laws and customs are continually overridden by a system geared towards delivering mining revenues for corporations and Governments at the expense of human rights and climate justice.

We must fight on. Our struggle has always been deeper and broader than taking on one company. Adani are merely the corporate vanguard of ongoing state colonialism. The Government and their corporate mates must be held to account.

Adani must be stopped. 

We will be maintaining our presence on the country and defending our cultural rights and sacred sites. We will sustain our political attacks on the corruption of process and abuse of power that has led to this unjust outcome for our people and country; and we continue to look for new litigation options under domestic and international law.

Adani’s mine. A travesty of human rights and climate justice.

This modern day breach of our human rights will forever deny a social license to Adani and its backers, to investors, contractors and insurers. 

We hope our stance gives heart to all those across the community mobilising and empowering supporters, backing civil society movements on climate action and anti-coal, and pressuring the Government on its support through subsidies and special deals for Adani’s mine. 

With your support, we stand stronger. Stand strong with us. 


And please ask your friends to pledge to stand with us too.

Adrian Burragubba, Murrawah Johnson & Linda Bobongie

for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council

Remember, you can  purchase our “Adani, No Means No” or “Water Protector” T-shirts to support us. And you can share these links to encourage others who care about land justice to donate to our Defence of Country fund, and to join the 130,000 people who have signed our petition.

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