Adani Mine – Opposition Update

We’ve come so far but our fight to defend our land and protect our heritage from Adani’s Carmichael Mine is as alive as ever.

When we launched back in March we knew we were taking on some pretty big players. With your help we have taken our fight to them, and argued our rights in defence of country.

Here’s an update of everything that’s happened.

Thanks to your support, our youth spokesperson Murrawah and I were able to take our message to banks across the world

And we had victories! We met with Standard Chartered, who cut ties with Adani only weeks later! This rolled into Australia where we met with NAB who told us they wouldn’t have a part of Adani’s mine – and that they knew the Traditional Owners had not given their consent.

We applaud these institutions for taking the business of human rights seriously.

Then we took our fight to the UN. We have made a submission to the UN and are asking the special rapporteurs on Indigenous rights and cultural rights to investigate what’s been going on here and hold our Governments to account. 

We know our rights, recognised under both the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and international law, are being infringed on. 

We have blown the whistle on Adani and their Government backers. We will not back down in defence of country and of our people. And they know it. 

I have a taken a Federal Court action on behalf of my Council to overturn the decision that says the Queensland Government can issue mining leases to Adani even though they don’t have our consent or agreement. 

We are arguing that Adani engaged in “dishonestly misleading conduct analogous to fraud”, and that we were not provided with natural justice and there were errors made at law. 

We’re fighting the Queensland Government as part of the case too. They supported Adani’s arguments that the mine was in the public interest — predicated on the chimera of massive financial benefits at little economic or environmental cost. 

We know this isn’t true. And nowhere in that picture are the Wangan and Jagalingou people, who have said No to the mine. 

We want a brighter future than that. We want our ancient homelands to be left intact so that we can sustain our culture and people, and hand it on for many more generations to come. 

We want to build our people’s future on sustainable opportunities that don’t leave a legacy of destruction and waste, with the loss accruing on the side of our country and culture, while billionaires and politicians who can’t imagine a better future or understand our deep connection to the land and waters, gouge short term profits from a dying industry to prop themselves up.

We know that Federal ‘environment’ Minister Greg Hunt has given Adani Mining an environmental approval under the EPBC Act. The mine itself is not yet ‘approved’. Minister Hunt has simply licensed the destruction of the environment. And this equals the destruction of W&J land and culture, the basis of our law and custom, and therefore of us as a people.

This disastrous project didn’t have our consent before Minister Hunt reissued his approval, and it doesn’t have it now! 

The Minister is simply culpable in the denial of our rights. Minister Hunt has proceeded with a re-approval without once having spoken to us, the Traditional Owners, and ignores the fact of our rights under international law and convention. 

As we have said, we have taken these matters to the UN; and continue to oppose a mine ever being built. Importantly, we have actioned a Judicial Review in the Federal Court on Native Title matters and this is yet to be heard.

The mine doesn’t have its leases from the Queensland Government yet — there is no mining permit. And of course, the mine is still not financially viable – coal is a commodity in structural decline and this is a dubious project: there are no investors, there is no money!

Thanks for your ongoing support.  This is a really big thing you’re involved in. We are shaking up the system. Your involvement will help us create precedents for Aboriginal people in Australia. We need to draw to attention and challenge the injustices embedded in the system.We can’t fight this fight without your moral and financial support.But together we can work to see justice prevail. 

Adrian Burragubba, on behalf of the Wangan Jagalingou Traditional Owner Family Council

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