Wangan and Jagalingou v Adani — the fight resumes

The W&J traditional owners have never consented to the mine going ahead.

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) traditional owners of the land on which Adani has approval to build its Carmichael coalmine are concerned that the Queensland government will act to extinguish their native title rights prior to a Federal Court hearing scheduled for March 12–15.

This follows the decision by the Federal Court to not extend an interim injunction, which had been in place since December 18, restraining the Queensland government from extinguishing native title under the terms of the purported Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA).

The W&J traditional owners have never consented to the mine going ahead. They say the group has voted four times since 2012 to reject an ILUA with Adani, most recently on 2 December.

On December 8 the Native Title Tribunal registered Adani’s ILUA documents. The validity of the purported ILUA is being challenged by W&J Traditional Owners in a Federal Court hearing scheduled for March. It will consider evidence that the meeting that is claimed to have authorised the ILUA was stacked with people who had no authority to authorise a deal and sign away W&J country.

Adrian Burragubba, Murrawah Johnson and Linda Bobongie for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council said: “A substantial injustice may be done if we are denied an appeal and the interim injunction is lifted before the trial.

Nothing can hide the facts that Adani has worked to divide our community, overturn our decisions, buy off individuals, split our claim group and engineer a sham meeting to ‘authorise’ a sham ILUA. And the Queensland government has aided and abetted them. This deal is illegitimate and should never have gone through.

“The Queensland Labor government has the power to do something about this, and it’s time they did!

“If we cannot restrain Adani with an injunction, then the Queensland Government must hear loud and clear that our land rights and culture cannot be surrendered for Adani’s profit.

“For us, this campaign has never just been about Adani. It has always been about protecting and conserving our land and culture so we can determine our own path forward for our people. One based on strong respect for our law and culture, the health of our Country and a resilient community — and clean enterprises and jobs in the new growth industries like solar energy generation.”

You can show your support for the W&J claim here.

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