• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Wangan and Jagalingou Council leader Adrian Burragubba lead the protests against the mining project, but finally lost the appeal in August.

    Wangan and Jagalingou Council leader Adrian Burragubba lead the protests against the mining project, but finally lost the appeal in August. | Photo: Twitter (@ayccqld)

Published 2 September 2019
Opinion

In spite of what the law stipulates, Burragubba told reporters that he and his people have been made trespassers on their own country. 

Without notifying the decision, the Australian state of Queensland decided to terminate a native title of almost 1,500 hectares of Aboriginal Wangan and Jagalingou country for a new privately-operated coalmine granted to the Indian conglomerate Adani.

RELATED: 

5 Years Later, People Protest Mexican History's Worst Oil Spill

“Our ceremonial grounds, in place for a time of mourning for our lands as Adani begins its destructive processes, are now controlled by billionaire miner Adani,” Wangan and Jagalingou Council leader Adrian Burragubba said.

“With insider knowledge that the deal was already done, Adani had engaged Queensland police and threatened us with trespass,” the leader added. The decision will allow the police to remove W&J protesters from their own lands.

Burragubba and his group of Wangan and Jagalingou representatives demanded the government to eliminate the decision as they never consented for the Adani mining group to occupy their ancestral homeland.

In a meeting with government officials on Aug. 30, while trying to stop the rental agreements that are emitted for the mine infrastructure, the council learned the government of Queensland had instead granted Adani exclusive freehold title over large parts of their lands.

To be legally able to mine a land under a native title claim, a miner needs an “Indigenous land use agreement,” which is a contract allowing the state to suppress native title.

In spite of what the law stipulates, Burragubba told reporters that he and his people have been made trespassers on their own country. 

Burragubba and a group of supporters had then no other choice than to set up camp on the land ahead of its legal transfer to Adani on Aug. 3, and they announced they won’t abandon their protests nor leave.

A notice received by the Aboriginal council said their country “is to be handed over to Adani on Aug. 3, 2019”. The notice also said, “Adani will request the assistance of the police to remove Mr. Burragubba and his supporters from the camp.”

Adani said in a statement it had worked with the traditional owners of the land since 2011 to “to ensure the customs and wishes of Indigenous people are respected and supported”.

Five of the 12 native claimants have opposed Adani but have lost successive legal actions in court. Seven, a majority, of the native title claimants support the Adani mine. Burragubba lost his final appeal in August.

Despite the outcome, the Indigenous leader said they "will never consent to these decisions and will maintain our defense of the country,” adding that “we will be on our homelands to care for our lands and waters, hold ceremonies and uphold the ancient, abiding law of the land.”

An analysis reported this week by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial said that the Australian governments will give US$2.5 billion in subsidies to Adani’s Carmichael coal project, which would otherwise be “unbankable and unviable.” In this context, the aboriginal community says its own politicians are their aggressors even more than the multinational corporation seeking after their land.

The Adani group is an Indian multinational conglomerate founded in 1988. Starting as a commodity trading business, it amplified its activities into energy, agribusiness, real estate, financial services, aerospace, and defense industries. 

Comment
0
Comments
Post with no comments.