Native title holders fight Carmichael approvals

Murrawah Johnson and Adrian Burragubba. Image: Edmonton Journal

Wangan and Jagalingou native title holders have launched a fresh legal offensive on Adani Australia, this time against the recent mining approvals granted by the Queensland Government.

W&J representatives against the Carmichael coal mine development said the Queensland mines minister Anthony Lynham had betrayed native title holders under pressure from the Indian miner.

On Wednesday W&J released a letter from Lynham’s office, showing in October last year he would consider the mining lease application after all legislative requirements were explored.

The letter stated: “In this particular case, the minister intends to wait for an outcome of the judicial review application.”

“We will not stand by and be bullied into accepting the inevitability of this mine. It’s a dangerous proposal,” W&J spokeswoman Murrawah Johnson said.

“The application will seek to have heard that the leases for the Carmichael mine issued by Mines Minister Lynham…were not properly issued.”

Key driver of the mine opposition within W&J Adrian Burragubba accused the state government of racism in failing to allow due legal process before granting approvals, and will file a complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act for administration of the Native Title process.

Adani Australia maintains that opposition to the mine came from a minority of the W&J representatives, and did not reflect the wishes of the wider group of 12 authorised applicants.

“Adani continues to work constructively and respectfully with the full group of W&J applicants to finalise the proposed Indigenous Land Use Agreement in accordance with the legitimate statutory process,” a spokesman said.

“Adani has at every stage worked with state and federal governments of all persuasions in accepting and abiding by the strict and rigorous conditions imposed on its projects.”

The W&J group is made up of 12 families, nine of which met on March 19 to pass a resolution which would allow removal of members who lost the confidence of families due to their support of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA).

W&J applicants will again meet with Adani this Saturday to attempt to secure the ILUA, however Burragubba said no agreement can be made.

“The claim group has said no applicants can go back to Adani and sign an agreement,” he said.


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