Indigenous challenge to Adani loses witnesses

Prominent Wangan and Jagalingou spokesman Adrian Burragubba will give evidence in legal challenge of Adani's plans.
Prominent Wangan and Jagalingou spokesman Adrian Burragubba will give evidence in legal challenge of Adani's plans.

AN INDIGENOUS group's legal attempt stop the Carmichael mine stumbled at the gate after evidence was struck out and witnesses went missing.

Central Queensland people, the Wangan and Jagalingou, have asked the Federal Court to overturn an indigenous Land Use Agreement for the controversial Adani mine.

W&J claims ineligible people voted in a meeting to approve the agreement with the multinational company.

But in court on Monday W&J lawyers agreed paragraphs from multiple witness statements, including from outspoken member Adrian Burragubba, be removed while Justice John Reeves struck out others without consent.

Adani's lawyers argued one witness statement who said the mine would "damage my grandmother's land” was irrelevant to the case as it was not linked to whether the ILUA was legally approved.

After hours of legal argument over what evidence was relevant, W&J barrister Stephen Keim was unable to find the people he was calling to the witness box. Two witnesses had left the courthouse and the third called was not needed for cross-examination.

One of the initially missing witnesses, W&J man Craig Dallen, later told the court an indigenous person could only be a member of one ancestral group.

Under cross-examination, Mr Dallen said he believed people who were not W&J members had attended their meetings and voted on the ILUA.

He said he had chosen to be a W&J member instead of his grandmother's people who lived in the Bundaberg area.

"In our culture if you belong to one tribe you cannot belong to another,” he said.

"Some of the people who were going to our meetings were going to other meetings as well.”

Mr Dallen said he could have challenged those people he did not believe were genuine members, but had not done so.

The hearing is expected to continue for two more days. -NewsRegional

Topics:  adani carmichael mine project coal mining federal court ilua indigenous land use agreement wangan and jagalingou w&j

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Commercial activity boosting Toowoomba's building industry

Master Builders Association's Downs and Western regional manager Linda Rosengreen says there is a hype around Toowoomba at the moment.

Council: Toowoomba's an attractive area for developers, home buyers.

School takes part in 'adopt a tree' program

ADOPTING TREES: Cr Carolyn Tillman and Brigalow State School principal Trudi Eather with budding green thumbs Jake and Ella Cotter and Harley and Chloe Rummenie.

Students take part in council initiative to increase number of trees

Major ice and ammo bust

Some of the ammunition allegedly located during this week's raids.

Southwest police operation results in 39 arrests.

Local Partners