Local landowners have rejected Adani group’s $ 16.5-billion mine, rail, and port projects in Australia’s coal-rich Queensland state. It is being described as the biggest case involving native title law in recent history.
The locals are the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people, an Aboriginal group. The Aborigines are members of the race of people who were the original people of Australia. The locals have rejected an indigenous land use agreement with Adani to build a coal mine in the area. An Adani spokesman was quoted as saying the company was continuing “to negotiate with the W&J’s representatives and it would prefer a negotiated outcome that recognises all parties’ interests.”
Reports say Adani took legal action to override the locals. If successful, this would allow the Queensland government to compulsorily acquire the land and issue a lease for the Carmichael mine.
The Aboriginal group’s spokesperson, Adrian Burragubba, said: “The new Queensland Labor Party government has an opportunity to step up now, and do the right thing. We call on Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the minister for mines, Anthony Lynham, to rule out compulsorily acquiring our land. They must reject Adani’s mining lease application for the Carmichael mine. “If it approves the mine, it will be responsible for the death of our land, and our connection to it going back to time immemorial.
“The W&J people have never given consent to Adani’s massive mine and never will. It will destroy our ancestral lands and waters, our totemic animals and plants, and our dreaming. We are putting the government on notice that we will do whatever it takes to stop it.”
He said Adani had support at the highest level of the Australian and Indian governments.
“The worst is the Federal and Queensland governments have sided with Adani. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, and the former Queensland Liberal National Party government approved the mine,” he said.
They’re fighting on the side of a rich foreign multinational against us, and betraying their obligations to protect W&J’s rights,” he said.
Another W&J spokesperson Murrawah Johnson said, “This won’t be easy. The cards are stacked against us. So we’re now calling on the community – including other Traditional Owner groups and environmentalists who share our vision – to join us in our battle.
“We’re telling the Queensland government we will not stand by and allow them to take our land. And we’re telling Adani that ‘No Means No!’: they need to cancel the Carmichael mine, leave our land alone, and go home.”