Traditional Owners Reject Carmichael Mine near Clermont

Today, Adani and the new QLD State government ducked the real issues when the Wangan and Jagalingou people, the Traditional Owners of Queensland’s Galilee Basin, announced that they had refused an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Indian conglomerate Adani, and the QLD Government, for the huge Carmichael coal mine – the biggest in Australian history.

Spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said, “The project would destroy our ancestral lands, rip the heart out of our country and sever our ancient connection to it. The mine can now proceed only if the QLD Labor Government compulsorily acquires our lands and issues a mining lease, on the basis of legal action taken by Adani against us. ”

The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Representative Council today called on the Queensland Government, including the responsible Minister, Anthony Lynham, to rule out any compulsory acquisition, and reject Adani’s application for a mining lease.

At a Parliament House media conference, the group presented a “Declaration of Defence of Country” to Speaker of the QLD Parliament, Peter Wellington, who graciously received the document and undertook to convey it to his parliamentary colleagues.

“Unfortunately, this kind of respect was not shown to the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples by Adani or the QLD Government”, said Mr Burragubba.

Adani has tried to discredit the group and its spokesperson Adrian Burragubba, claiming he is not an authorised representative of the Wangan and Jagalingou people, and that negotiations over the Carmichael mine are still underway.

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Mr. Burragubba said, “Let’s get this straight. I am the authorised spokesperson of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Representative Council. I am a member of the Native Title applicant group. Our Group rejected a Land Use Agreement with Adani on 4 October 2014 at a meeting the Native Title claim group convened to make a decision about the Indigenous Land Use Agreement. We said no to Adani. Adani knows this because they had their lawyers present. To claim otherwise is all spin and lies”.

“The Wangan and Jagalingou Council have now authorised me to speak on their behalf about our opposition to the mine. We have never consented to a mining lease or the surrender of our native title to Adani. We never will”, he said.

“Adani does not get to determine who speaks for us, we do.”

Mr. Burragubba also expressed disappointment in the new Mines Minister, Dr. Anthony Lynham. “When approached by the media regarding our call on him to rule out compulsory acquisition of our land and issuing a mining lease to Adani, he handballed the issue to his Department. It then released a statement about a Native Title matter involving the Bidjara group that has no relevance the lands slated for Carmichael”.

Mr Burragubba said, “Either he doesn’t know what his Department is doing or this is a smokescreen from the Minister. The fact is that the Bidjara bid covers a small area at the south of the Wangan and Jagalingou claim area. This does not include the land slated for the Carmichael mine. The Carmichael mine is on undisputed Wangan and Jagalingou land”.

“Will the Minister show us proper respect and acknowledge that Wangan and Jagalingou are the Traditional Owners of the area of the Carmichael mine and that he has a responsibility to address our concerns?”

“The previous LNP QLD Government and Adani tried to run roughshod over us. We expect better from this new government”, he said.

“Our door is always open. We’ll welcome Minister Lynham’s call.”

COLLATERAL: W&J story Video /W&J website:


Annemarie Jonson 0428 278 880
Kate Dennehy 0419 432 624
Mick Gibb 0423 149 494


Adrian Burragubba, 0428 949 115
Murrawah Johnson, 0439 919 891


2 thoughts on “Traditional Owners Reject Carmichael Mine near Clermont

  1. Indigenous leaders attempt to block Adani mine says:

    It has been well publicised recently that Indian mining company Adani have proposed the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere to be developed in the Gailee Basin in Central Queensland – an area covered by the Wangan and Jagalingou Native Title Claim.

    This proposed carmichael mine will have significant implications for future CO2 emissions as well as for the cultural and environmental impacts on the proposed mine site.

    Recent developments have seen a disputed claim as to the process undertaken by Adani to secure the approval to mine this area, with Adani claiming they are negotiating with authorised representatives of the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council.

    On Thursday, Adrianne Burragubba presented the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council’s claim to stop this mine to the speaker of state Parliament, Peter Wellington.

    They reminded Mr Wellington that the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council voted on the 4th October last year to reject the mine, and that any persons claiming they are in favour of the mine are not representative of that vote, and therefore not authorised to enter into any negotiations with Adani.

    4ZzZ was at Parliament House on Thursday to cover these events.

    Read below the full comment from an Adani spokesperson in response to this story:

    Adani considers it critical that you familiarise yourself with the important authorisation processes adopted by the Wangan & Jagalingou People (W&J) in appointing authorised representatives to speak on their behalf.

    As it stands, the questions that you have asked have been put by an individual who is not authorised to speak on behalf of W&J, whilst purporting to do so.

    Adani respects these processes, and encourages you to ensure you are dealing with all of the duly authorised representatives.

    Adani is aware of at least one instance where the authorised majority of the W&J applicant instructed that the NNTT should disregard an individual statement of one of its group because there had been a unanimous decision not to make a submission on two of Adani’s mining lease applications.

    A part of the process established at law is a structured framework to ensure clarity and openness of process and timelines, including with reference to the National Native Title Tribunal. Adani continues to negotiate with the W&J’s authorised representatives towards terms acceptable to all parties.

    Following comprehensive and ongoing discussions and negotiations with the W&J, Adani does not believe that the W&J “don’t want this mine” as the W&J have been and continue to be actively involved in negotiations around delivery of the mine on terms acceptable to the W&J.

    In addition to the native title processes, Adani respects the W&J’s cultural heritage and can confirm it has been working closely with the W&J since 6 September 2011 under a cultural heritage management plan agreed with the W&J.

    Again, Adani continues to negotiate with the W&J’s authorised representatives and would prefer a negotiated outcome that recognises all parties’ interests.

    Adani works closely, and will continue to work closely and constructively with traditional owners, to ensure the cultural heritage and affinity with the land of traditional owners is maintained while ensuring this vital export opportunity for our state is progressed.

    Adani has successfully negotiated with the Juru people two Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA) and two cultural heritage management plans for the Abbot Point Port and the North Galilee Basin Rail (NGBR).

    The port ILUA is already registered with the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT), and will provide intergenerational benefits to the Juru people.

    Adani, at all times, fully informed and worked closely with the Juru people’s nominated representatives (including the JAC chairperson, Ms Carol Prior), as well as other Juru applicants, the Juru people’s authorised and registered native title body corporate (Kyburra Munga Yalga Aboriginal Corporation), and their representative body and legal advisors (the North Queensland Land Council and HWL Ebsworth) to ensure that the ILUA consultation and consent process was open and inclusive.

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