W&J claimants again vote down Adani deal, seek injunction

Latest News / Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

~ Claim group reject ILUA for the fourth and final time

~ Injunction filed against Adani and Qld Govt

Brisbane, 3 December 2017.
For the fourth time since 2012, W&J Traditional Owners have voted unanimously at an authorisation meeting to reject an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani, underlining their sustained opposition to the mine. Today the Traditional Owners also announced they have filed an injunction in the Federal Court against Adani and the Queensland Government, to restrain them should they attempt to extinguish their native title.

Linda Bobongie, the Coordinator for the W&J Applicant, one of the convenors of yesterday’s authorisation meeting and Chairperson of the W&J Traditional Owners Council, said, “The ILUA is a bad deal for our people. The W&J people strenuously object to the Carmichael Mine and deplore the degradation that the Adani Mining project will wreak on our culture, environment and ancestral lands”.

Adrian Burragubba, spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, and one of the appellants, says, “Adani is pushing to have their sham ILUA with our people registered before our Federal Court hearing against it in March next year. They want the Queensland Government to extinguish our native title while pretending to have our consent”.

“We have filed an injunction against Adani and the Queensland Government, seeking to restrain them should they attempt to extinguish our native title. There will be no surrender of our traditional lands and waters. Our people voted down the ILUA again yesterday and endorsed the legal challenges to prevent this destructive project.”

Murrawah Johnson, youth spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council said, “Our lands and waters, and our rights, will be smashed if this mine goes ahead, and all for a compensation deal that’s one of the worst in the country”, she said.

The claim meeting received a preliminary report from Murray Meaton, who was awarded an Order of Australia in 2014 for services to the mining industry.

“The report shows the pathetic and uncertain benefits that would be available to W&J in exchange for the extinguishment of our native title and the destruction of our ancient lands and culture, and the surrender of our rights”, she said.

“Adani plans to get richer on the destruction of our lands while throwing us some trinkets to keep us quiet. We do not want marginal low paid jobs in a dirty and dying industry. Instead of the crumbs off Adani’s table, and the servitude proffered by Governments, we deserve higher education, jobs in sustainable enterprises of the future, and to freely exercise our right to protect our lands and waters and practice our culture.”

The claim group meeting also put beyond any doubt that the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council speaks for the claim group against the Adani mine.

Mrs. Bobongie concluded, “The authorisation meeting passed a resolution to confirm that the Council advocates for the traditional culture of the claim group, and supports the W&J people to remain connected to our country. Yet again, our people have asserted our right to self-determination and demand that governments and mining proponents respect our right to free, prior and informed consent.”

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

This meeting of the Wangan and Jagalingou claim group:

  1. Does not authorise the Indigenous Land Use Agreement between the Wangan and Jagalingou People and Adani Mining Pty Ltd and the State of Queensland (“the Adani ILUA”).
  2. Does not authorise the Applicants to sign the Adani ILUA and to the extent that some Applicants have already signed it, determines that they no longer have the authority of the claim group to do so and declares that their signatures are to be treated as nullity.
  3. Do not consider the Adani ILUA to be binding on the Wangan and Jagalingou people.
  4. Determines that the Applicants are not to continue to seek to register the Adani ILUA and directs Colin Hardie of Just Us Lawyers to submit to the Registrar of the Native Title Tribunal and to the Federal Court that the Adani ILUA should not be registered and is invalid.
  5. Directs the Applicants to immediately communicate to the Registrar, National Native Title Tribunal and to the Federal Court the objection of the Applicant to the registration of the Adani ILUA purportedly executed by members of the Applicant.
  6. Abhors the provisions of the Adani ILUA that provide for the extinguishment and surrender of our Native Title.
  7. Objects strenuously to the Carmichael Mine.
  8. Considers that the Adani ILUA does not provide adequate compensation for the detrimental effect that the Adani Mining project will have on our culture and traditional lands.
  9. Deplores the degradation that the Adani Mining project will wreak on our culture, environment and our ancestral lands.

This meeting of the Wangan and Jagalingou claim group directs the Applicants not to further engage with Adani Mining Pty Ltd or any other entity on behalf of Adani to negotiate or renegotiate any ILUA relating to the Carmichael Mining project unless and until authorisation is given to the Applicants at a lawful authorisation meeting and express approval is given by the claim group for such further negotiations.

This meeting notes the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine ILUA assessment prepared by Economics Consulting Services and that it is an interim report. This meeting directs the Applicants to further engage Economics Consulting Services to obtain a full assessment of the benefits package proposed by Adani.


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