Adani sets a date

DESPITE taking a step forward by setting a September date for off-site construction to start, Adani has happened upon another stumbling block.

Staff Reporter

The Wangan and Jagalingou (WAJ) people, who possess a native claim to over 30,000 square kilometres of central Queensland, have stepped up their legal opposition to the $16.5 billion Carmichael mine.

Court documents submitted to the national native title tribunal (NNTT) show that the WAJ people claim Adani “grossly overestimated” the economic benefits of the mine, alleging Adani acted in “bad faith” in its forecasts of $4.17 billion for the Queensland economy and the creation of almost 7000 jobs at the mine.

“We’ll argue that the tribunal erred in making that decision and it should be overturned,” a spokesman for the WAJ family council told The Guardian.

“The native title system isn’t what people think it is. There’s inherent bias in the system where companies know if they get a ‘no’ they can go to the tribunal and are virtually guaranteed to get their mining lease.

“Hopefully this case will ventilate the issues around free prior and informed consent and the native title system.”

Furthermore, five representatives from the WAJ people are attempting to pressurise banks into refusing funding for the controversial project.

“We decided to take other avenues to protect the land we have left and our sacred sites. Adani don’t have the money to build the mine so our best chance is to talk to the banks. We want to fight Adani in every possible way,” WAJ member Murrawah Johnson said.

Elsewhere, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Queensland president weighed in against Adani’s proposal to make the mine 100% FIFO.

"Adani seem to think they can open a mine and dictate all the conditions," president Stephen Smyth said.

"It's up to the Queensland government, through the EIS approval process, to make sure the people of regional Queensland benefit from this project.

"There must also be requirements for Adani to invest in local training and engage with locally-based services.

"This project must deliver for Queensland and especially regional Queensland – not just Adani's bottom line. Otherwise, what's the point?”