Adani Native Title court case starts

WANGAN and Jagalingou Traditional Owners are seeking to invalidate Adani’s Indigenous Land Use Agreement over its Carmichael coal project in the Federal Court.
Adani Native Title court case starts Adani Native Title court case starts Adani Native Title court case starts Adani Native Title court case starts Adani Native Title court case starts

Noel Dyson

The three-day hearing began yesterday in the Federal Court and is crucial because this is one of the final approvals Adani needs for its project to proceed.

If the ILUA is granted, the W&J will have their Native Title over the lands extinguished.

However, the Queensland government could extinguish the group’s Native Title at any time given the group’s loss in a key court case last month.

Should that the Native Title be extinguished, then this hearing may be moot.

The W&J is arguing, among other things, that the Adani meeting in April 2016, from which it is said the W&J people voted 294 to 1 in favour of an ILUA, was rorted.

The group claims the meeting was comprised of large numbers of people who were not members of the W&J group with the claim to Native Title in the area and did not have the right to make the decision.

None of the five W&J people who are applicants in the court case signed the project agreement or gave their acceptance.

W&J Traditional Owners Council spokesman Adrian Burragubba said the group had voted four times against “taking Adani’s shut up money and against the destruction of our lands and waters and our cultural heritage”.

“Both the Queensland and federal governments have supported Adani against us, overriding our rights,” he said.

“And right now the Queensland government has the power to extinguish our Native Title if they choose to, at any time.

“The Queensland government and Adani are relying on the ILUA to authorise extinguishment of our Native Title. 

“The government does not have to go down this path. It should rule out ever extinguishing our Native Title for Adani.”