W&J make demands of new Labor Govt on Adani

Latest News / Friday, December 8th, 2017

Media Release


Traditional Owners fighting Adani make demands of new Labor Govt

New Queensland polling released showing support for mine delay


Brisbane, 8 December 2017. With the announcement of a new majority Qld Labor government, and with the National Native Title Tribunal set to decide today whether to register Adani’s sham Indigenous Land Use Agreement, the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council have presented a clear set of demands.

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council Spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said, “Our fight to protect our country and heritage will continue until Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk acknowledges that we are the people from that land, and Adani does not have the consent it requires from us for this destructive mine.

“We call on the Palaszczuk Government to stand up for our rights and not the interests of Adani. We have written to our more than 100,000 supporters in the wider community this morning, asking them to press the Premier and Deputy Premier to demand that the returned Palaszczuk Government –

  • acknowledge that Adani and the Queensland Government do not have the consent of W&J Traditional Owners for the Carmichael mine
  • remove Queensland’s ‘signature’ from Adani’s contested Indigenous Land Use Agreement
  • rule out extinguishing Native Title to allow Adani to proceed, even if the ILUA is registered by the NNTT
  • stop opposing the rightful W&J Traditional Owners in court and wait for all our cases to be heard, and
  • end Adani’s special treatment – which will enable the destruction of W&J country and heritage – including keeping the Premier’s election promise to veto Adani’s $1BN taxpayer-funded loan”

“This follows an an authorisation meeting of our Claim Group on 2 December at which, for the fourth time since 2012, our people voted unanimously to reject an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani.

“Our people’s decision underlines our sustained opposition to the Carmichael mine. We are the ones who are going to determine our future. And it’s one in which the care and custodianship of our ancestral lands and waters is in our hands as the Traditional Owners who speak for that country – and not in the hands of a ruthless company that would destroy them”, he said.

Murrawah Johnson, youth spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council said, “We are tired of others speaking for us. Tired of government people like Senator Matt Canavan and Minister Anthony Lynham, self-appointed spokespeople like Warren Mundine and Marcia Langton, who think that one meeting organised and paid for by Adani, stacked with people who don’t come from our country, is the voice of the W&J people.

“Adani are pressing to have their sham agreement registered before our case can be heard in the Federal Court next March. This ‘agreement’ is vitally important to their project and to raising finance. Without our consent they cannot build the critical infrastructure for the mine or find willing financiers”, she said.

W&J Traditional Owners have filed in the Federal Court  for an injunction against Adani and the Queensland Government, to restrain them should they attempt to extinguish their native title, before their claims are resolved in the courts.

Linda Bobongie, the Coordinator for the W&J Applicant, one of the convenors of the authorisation meeting and Chairperson of the W&J Traditional Owners Council, said, “ The Premier needs to know we will hold Labor to account if they move against us before our day in court, and proceed to extinguish native title in our lands and waters.

“But the Government can’t be trusted on this, and neither can Adani. They overrode our rights once before, when they granted the mining leases.  They knew there was no W&J consent for it, but they did it anyway. So we have filed for an injunction against the State and Adani to prevent irreparable harm to our country and our rights” she said.

W&J today also released a new ReachTEL poll showing a clear majority of Queenslanders do not support the state government pushing ahead with Adani’s mine without their consent (here).

Mrs. Bobongie said: “New polling shows a clear majority of Queenslanders do not support the government tearing up our rights. They rightly understand that when we, as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters, oppose Adani’s coal mine, the State Government should not proceed without our consent.

“Premier Palaszczuk has shown that she is willing to listen to the community by promising to veto Adani’s $1 billion loan. She must also listen to us, and the 56% of Queenslanders who oppose Adani’s mine proceeding unless we agree.

“Adani’s purported land use agreement is contested in the courts and the Government would have its thumb on the scales of justice if it moved to support the mine and extinguish our native title before the trail. We have said no. The Government and Adani do not have our consent”, she concluded.


Media contact: Anthony Esposito, W&J TO Council advisor – 0418 152 743.



On 2 December, for the fourth time since 2012, W&J Traditional Owners voted unanimously at an authorisation meeting of the claim group to reject an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani, underlining their sustained opposition to the mine.

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

The Traditional Owners also announced they have filed an application for an injunction in the Federal Court against Adani and the Queensland Government, to restrain them should they attempt to extinguish their native title, if the NNTT registers the ‘Adani ILUA’ before the  Federal Court hearing of W&J’s litigation against the purported ILUA, set for March 2018.

The W&J Council will fight all the way to the High Court if necessary to defend their rights and protect their country from the destruction of the Carmichael Mine.

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

A. 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

B. 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.

C. 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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