Friday, August 21, 2015

Australian aborigins challenge Adanis' fresh bid to revive controversial coal-mining project

By Our Representative
Even the powerful Gujarat-based Adani Group is all set to seek fresh mining lease to enable it to go ahead with its controversial $20 billion coal mining project in Australia's Queensland province, the view has gone strong that the a final recommendation on whether to allow it is “not expected” until the end of the year.
Sources also said, nor would the Adani Group find it easy to push through the project, which recently faced a major environmental due to a recent negative ruling by the Federal Court.
Latest reports from Queensland province say, in a fresh move against the project, the Australian aborigines, the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people, who are traditional owners of Queensland’s Galilee Basin, announced they too would fight in the Federal Court “to stop Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, the biggest in Australian history.”
Their Family Council, says a statement by W&J spokesperson Adrian Burragubba, has already filed an application in the Federal Court, which is set for hear the case on September 9, 2015.
This has ended the “fabricated myth that the majority of Wangan and Jagalingou do not oppose Adani’s mine. This dispels the malicious disinformation spread by Adani, which has always tried to paint our community as terminally divided”, the spokesperson said.
However, Burragubba admitted, there are a “variety of views” in the community, though claiming. “But a clear majority of our people said no to the Carmichael mine. Adani is dishonestly seeking to divide and conquer; a tactic that mining companies have used against indigenous peoples standing up for their rights the world over”, the spokeperson alleged.
Burragubba underlined, “We are an independent group of traditional owners. We cannot be bought and sold by anyone, including outsiders like Adani. They offered us millions to consent to the ruination of our future. We rejected a Land Use Agreement with them – twice.”
Reiterating that the “Adani’s proposed Carmichael project would be an unmitigated disaster for my people, my culture, and for the environment”, Burragubba said, this is the reason why recently “Standard Chartered, the mine’s premier financier, walked away from the mine last month soon after our meeting”.
“The tide of history is on our side. We are heartened by the huge groundswell of community support behind us. 100,000 Australians have signed our petition to tell Adani to get their hands off our land.
Meanwhile, “The Guardian”, UK, reported that the latest version of Adani’s plan “is poised to go before federal environment minister Greg Hunt for approval”.
It will be the “third attempt at a plan for Adani’s new terminal, after earlier versions involving the dumping of potentially toxic seabed in reef waters and sensitive wetlands were scrapped amid public outcry, legal challenges and a change of state government”, the daily said.

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