Adrian Burragubba
Adrian Burragubba

Tiny Central Queensland group fighting Adani to the end

A CENTRAL Queensland indigenous group has vowed to continue to fight the proposed Adani Carmichael mine after a court decision went against them.

The Federal Court on Tuesday dismissed a Wangan and Jagalingou injunction because it found proper notice was not given for a Native Title Group meeting.

On March 19, 2016 a W&J native title claim group meeting voted to replace a number of people those in the group had to be able to claim ancestry from.

But the court found the meeting had not been properly called. The meeting notice said it was being held to discuss concerns some members had about others negotiating with Adani behind the group's back. It did not give notice that a vote was to be held on who group members were descended from.

There are 340 members of the W&J native title group, but just 96 attended the meeting in question.

Justice John Reeves said because the matter was not advertised, those with other views on that matter may not have felt the need to attend.

"While it was headed 'authorisation meeting', it was, in truth, a notice for a meeting of those members of the W&J claim group who held the same concerns as those calling the meeting," he said.

"That being so, it could not result in a meeting being convened that would be fairly representative of the views of the whole of the W&J claim group concerning the membership of the W&J Applicant."

Wangan and Jagalingou spokesman Adrian Burragubba said the decision would likely be appealed.

"The decision today shows how vulnerable the rights of Traditional Owners are when they don't agree to the destruction of their country by big miners like Adani," he said.

"Adani has actively worked to divide our community, undermine our representatives and register a sham agreement with our people to pave the way for the destruction of our lands and waters.  

"Today's judgment is one we will seek leave to appeal. We believe it's a hollow judgment that ignores important elements of the full bench decision in McGlade regarding the role of applicants."

Adani declined to comment on the court's decision.




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