Traditional Owners take stand to evict Adani

 

Traditional Owners near the Adani Carmichael mine have blocked access to the site, in what they claim is a move to protect their home lands.

Led by the Wangan and Jagalingou tribal people, the protest has restricted contractors from accessing the work site.

Traditional Owners issued Adani Australia with an eviction notice at the company's offices in Townsville, Brisbane and at the Carmichael mine site last Thursday.

Wangan and Jagalingou tribal people block access to the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine on Monday, August 24, 2020.
Wangan and Jagalingou tribal people block access to the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine on Monday, August 24, 2020.


Wangan and Jagalingou man and opponent of the mine Adrian Burragubba said the action was to re-establish tribal control of their home lands.

"We will restrict Adani Australia and contractors free movement within Wangan and Jagalingou lands. These restrictions will not apply to the general public or local farming families," he said.

"Adani are operating without authorisation within our boundaries. Adani have cleared land which is home to many sacred totemic animals.

"It is our duty as Wangan and Jagalingou people to act against Adani's Carmichael project that interferes with our ancient law and custom.

"We demand an end to the destruction of our unceded territory. We demand Adani Australia abandon their Carmichael mine project immediately. We want them out, we want them to pack up and leave our tribal lands."

Wangan and Jagalingou tribal people block access to the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine on Monday, August 24, 2020.
Wangan and Jagalingou tribal people block access to the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine on Monday, August 24, 2020.


An Adani spokeswoman confirmed "anti-mining protesters" had set up camp across the main road into the Carmichael mine site.

"Queensland Police are on site and project works are continuing despite this attempted interruption. Police officers have had to drive for an hour to reach the activists' camp, at a time when community resources are already stretched managing the response to the COVID- 19 pandemic," she said.

"People at the camp site do not represent the Wangan and Jagalingou native title claimants.

"In 2016 the Wangan and Jagalingou People voted 294 to one in favour of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement which endorsed the Carmichael Project.

"We are dedicated to working in partnership with all our Traditional Owners, including the Wangan and Jagalingou People, guided by the Indigenous Land Use Agreements."

At the time the eviction notices were handed to Adani, a company spokesman said it had worked with four traditional owner groups, the Wangan and Jagalingou, Juru, Birriah and Jangga peoples under the auspices of the Indigenous Land Use Agreements since 2011.

Part of this agreement stipulates minimum commitments to Indigenous employment, training and contracts as well as education bursary and employment programs.

Originally published as Traditional Owners take stand to evict Adani


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