Adrian Burragubba, representative of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners of land where on Sunday the Queensland government approved mining leases for Adani to build the Carmichael coal mine on Monday issued a promise to fight the mine all the way to the High Court and under international law if necessary.
A media statement issued by Mr Burragubba said:
The Queensland government just betrayed us.
Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham wrote a letter to us in October, promising he would await the outcome of our Federal Court action against the Carmichael mine before considering issuing Adani with the mining leases. But today the premier and the minister double-crossed us.
Adani doesn’t have our free, prior and informed consent to build their Carmichael coal mine on our land, and they never will.
The Queensland government just rode roughshod over our rights and granted the mining leases anyway. They have given Adani the green light to ignore our opposition and to tear the heart out of our country. To destroy our rivers and drain billions of litres of groundwater. To leave a black hole of monumental proportions in our homelands.
We feared the Government would do this – and they did. And we need your help to fight it. Today’s approval changes everything. But we can and will fight on. Can you donate now so we can fight against Adani’s mining lease in court?
This is far from over. Our incredible supporters have already helped us take a fight against the mine to the Federal Court. The case is still underway as we speak.
But once again this government thinks it can trample all over our rights without consequences. Once again this government pays lip service to our rights, but they never stand up for them when mining and money become involved. This is a lie and it’s a betrayal, clear and simple.
Two weeks ago, our claim group met en masse and voted down an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Adani. It was the third and final time. We said it again, we said it loud and we said it clear: we do not consent to this mine and we never will.
The minister has trashed our rights and pushed the leases out the door in one of the worst acts of bad faith towards Queensland’s Indigenous people in living memory.
This fight will define our people and be a landmark moment for Indigenous rights in Australia. Can you help us fight for our rights and our country in court?
Adani and the Queensland government think they can walk all over us but they’ve never seen anything like this. Our lands and our way of life, and the legacy of our ancestors, mean too much to our people for us to roll over.
Our resolve is doubled. Minister Lynham can issue all the bits of paper he likes, hide behind false claims of jobs and benefits, and pander to big coal for an unviable project.
But our people’s rights are not expendable. This act of infamy will be challenged all the way to the High Court if necessary, and we will continue to pursue our rights under international law.
The Minister may think this is the end of the matter, but for us it is just another chapter in the long struggle we have to get proper respect and protection for our rights under law, and ensure our sacred homelands are preserved for time immemorial.
We won’t stop until our rights are upheld and our land is protected.
Adrian Burragubba, on behalf of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners.