Indigenous challenge to Adani Carmichael coal mine dismissed by Federal Court

Adrian Burragubba has slammed the Queensland government for approving mining leases.

The Federal Court has dismissed a challenge from a Queensland traditional owner to mining leases for Adani's Carmichael coal mine.


A member of the Wangan and Jagalingou people was trying to put a stop to the multi-billion-dollar Galilee basin project.


Senior traditional owner for the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners, Adrian Burragubba argued that a determination made in April 2015 by the National Native Title Tribunal, relating to the proposed granting of two mining leases, was made incorrectly.


He argued the approval of mining leases would extinguish native title over parts of the group's lands.


Mr Burragubba made the application for judicial review against the Queensland Government, Adani and the National Native Title Tribunal.


His position was not supported by two other people that, at the time, made up the Wangan and Jagalingou group.

Mr Burragubba argued that Adani misled the tribunal about the economic benefits the mine would create and as a consequence the tribunal made the wrong decision.

But Adani said it had worked closely with traditional owners and the majority supported the project.

In his judgement, Justice John Reeves concluded that none of Mr Burragubba's grounds of review had merit.

Justice Reeves said the tribunal did not fail to observe the rules of natural justice or constructively fail to exercise its jurisdiction.

Mr Burragubba said he would continue to fight the mine.

"While I respect the judgement of Justice Reeves, we will seek advice from our legal team on an appeal," Mr Burragubba said.

"It is clear, however, that my submissions to the court and our concern to protect our life, culture and traditions and the social, cultural and economic structures of our group were dismissed and overridden.

"We continue to be restricted in the full expression of our laws and customs, in service to the machinery of mining development and the destruction of our country and culture."

Adani said it would continue to work with the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners to help ensure the benefits of the mine, rail and port project were realised.


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