Friday, November 27, 2015

Adanis gain Australian support to get free hold over $16 billion coal mining project land: Natives say "we will fight"

By Our Representative
A proposal is reported to have been floated in Australia to “extinguish” native title over a leasehold property held by the powerful Indian business house Adanis in the Queensland province, where the top corporate is involved in coming up with a one of the world’s most ambitious $16 billion coal mining project in Carmichael.
Proposed by the coordinator-general, Queensland, a document proposing the move says that the Adanis cannot start mining construction work till they obtain freehold and native title is extinguished. The proposal has come following the Adanis’ decision to build a captive airport, a power station and an accommodation on pastoral lease in 2012.
The proposal comes after Adanis, negotiating with the natives, Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people, for the last three years failed to get removed the native title on that part of the land where it wants to construct the new facilities in Carmichael – the Moray Downs area.
“If the acquisition goes ahead, native title claimants would be free to claim compensation”, a report published in Australian media said, adding, “The Queensland coordinator-general has the authority to plan and deliver large-scale infrastructure projects, and has the power under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act to compulsorily acquire land and native title rights.”
Opposing the official move, W&J senior spokesperson Adrian Burragubba the W&J Traditional Owners’ Council “strongly condemns plans by Queensland’s coordinator general Barry Broe, under the imprimatur of Minister for Mines Anthony Lynham, to extinguish native title on parts of the W&J’s traditional lands in the Galilee Basin in order to enable Indian giant Adanis to develop infrastructure for its $16.5bn Carmichael coal mine, the biggest in Australian history.”
Burragubba said, “It is beyond comprehension that the Government would consider such a shameful and absurd proposal in an era when our rights are sanctioned under international law; and when we are already in the Federal Court contesting the State Government and Adanis’ attempts to override our rights.”
“Premier Palaszczuk needs to rule out this outrageous proposal immediately”, Burragubba said. “I assure the Premier she will be bringing on one of the biggest human rights battles we’ve seen in Queensland in a long time. If destroying our rights and handing our lands to a foreign mining company is on her agenda, she better think again.”
“This proposal won’t stand,” he said. “Not here, not now, not this time. We will fight this all the way to the High Court if need be. We do not consent to Carmichael mine, and we never will. We have twice rejected an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adanis.”
Pointing out that the native people have already moved the federal court, he said, “It would be pre-empting the outcome of those proceedings for the Government to attempt to compulsorily acquire our native title. The government should face up to the justice system and argue its case properly; and not resort to a forcible takeover of our lands so they can be destroyed by a coal mining company.”
“It would be a shocking precedent for a government in Australia to extinguish title over land against the express opposition of traditional owners, and to hand that land to a private business interest - in this case a massive foreign miner with a disgraceful record of destroying environments and disrupting traditional communities overseas”, he pointed out.

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