A message from Adrian Burragubba, Murrawah Johnson and Linda Bobongie for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council
You know we have never given our consent to Adani to destroy our country, and we never will.
We’re on the frontline defending our ancestral lands in the fight against Adani’s destructive coal mine. That won’t change. And that goes for any and all extractive industry proposed for the Galilee Basin that would destroy our environment and sacred sites.
We are a force to be reckoned with because our decisions are driven by the spirit of our law – the law of the land.
Read Adrian’s Prologue “High noon in the Galilee: Wangan and Jagalingou law and order” from the recently released book “The Coal Truth: The fight to stop Adani, defeat the big polluters and reclaim our democracy”.
This is why we won’t wait around for the courts to rule in our favour, or for Adani to relent. No legal manoeuvres to block our rights can stop us standing our ground to protect Wangan and Jagalingou country.
We are working for a positive future for our people, and we won’t stand by and watch the destruction of our country for coal. We have held off Adani for years, causing them to write down their costs and hold up their plans.
Our people have been leading a courageous fight against a cashed-up mining giant with politicians in its pockets, and top end of town lawyers to argue away its collusion, bad faith and dishonesty.
We know that Adani are pressuring the Queensland government to clear our rights out of the way — and as the clock ticks and Adani gets more desperate, it will only intensify.
We need to build a more powerful movement who will stand in solidarity with us to take on Adani’s wealth, political influence and dirty tricks.
Can you ask your friends and family to join our fight? The first step they can take is to sign our petition against Adani.
We’re calling time on this. It’s time for Adani to walk away.
Adani can’t keep bullying us, or pretending they have our consent. Consent is written in our hearts and minds, and the truth is we have said no. Time and again.
And we shouldn’t have to keep saying it. Adani haven’t been able to put money on the table for this project or even say when they’ll start digging. They’ve given nothing to our people, or to the people of Queensland and Australia, except a bunch of false promises. The smart money and honest commentators know Adani’s Carmichael mine is going nowhere. But still our rights are at extreme risk.
The Queensland Government could yield at any time to this corrupt polluting corporation and ‘legally’ rip up our Native Title, just so they can say they have their final ‘approval’.
Adani have shown a relentless determination to use unjust legal manoeuvres to trample our rights – and the state has been willing to accommodate them. But this fight is bigger than Adani. It’s about the rights that all Aboriginal people have to say no to dirty extractive industries that profit from our traditional homelands. It’s about our right under international law to be free from discrimination, and to choose our own economic future.
We have a vision for our people that’s sustainable. We want economic independence, and to make a future on our country that is respectful of the land and uplifting for our people. We want to invest in solar energy and other new clean enterprises. We don’t want scraps from a corrupt corporation looking to profit from the permanent destruction of our country and culture, or meagre handouts and low paid dirty jobs that require us to give up our human rights.
We hope you’ll continue to stand with us and support our cause.
P.S. We have fought Adani’s shoddy tactics and their sham ‘agreement’ in the Federal Court. The judge can hand down a decision at any time. We don’t know when, but we know it won’t end there. We are willing to fight Adani all the way to the High Court if needed, to protect our environment and sacred sites.
We must maintain our legal defence, but we must also seek to change the rules of the game. The full rights of our people cannot be realised under the Native Title system – we need to come out from under that. In the era of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Australia, like other parts of the world, falls short.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be seeking commitments from political parties that would bring about genuine land justice, and respect for our right to self-determination.
In July we will also host an International Symposium of First Nations leaders at the Global Change Institute, to discuss Indigenous rights, extractive industries in a climate constrained world, and the right to say no. There will be a public event for our Brisbane supporters.