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Adani’s Australian coal mine project may wipe out aboriginal Wangan and Jagalingou people

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Australia’s aboriginal landowners have filed a fresh federal court case against the Indian mining giant, Adani Group’s Carmichael coal mine project.

ET reported that the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people, the traditional owners of the land, said on Friday that they have vowed to stop the project, amounting to A$16.5 billion dollars, the biggest in Australian history. They said that if the project goes ahead, the W&J’s vast traditional lands and their ancient connection to the country will “disappear” forever.

“We have filed an appeal and judicial review in the federal court of Australia. This court action challenges the decision of Australia’s National Native Title Tribunal that the Queensland government may issue mining leases for Carmichael,” said W&J spokesperson Adrian Burragubba.

“This challenge is unprecedented in the history of Native Title Tribunal decisions. If necessary, we will take our case all the way to the high court,” he added.

“We will communicate to the banks that we do not consent to Carmichael… We will remind them that any bank that funds Carmichael will be breaching important human rights principles to which they are signatory; principles requiring that projects that affect indigenous Owners have their consent. We’ll urge them to honour their obligations and commit to ruling out funding,” said Burragubba as reported by ET.

In reaction to the challenge, Adani Group’s Australia spokesperson told ET, “Adani is confident that the judgement of the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) will be upheld.”

“The NNTT variously held that authorised representatives of the W&J are working with the company, the submissions of groups purporting to represent the whole group were not relevant, that the mine and other Adani projects would deliver substantial inter generational economic benefits to the W&J, and that are sound and effective cultural heritage management plans for the site long since in place.”

“It is unfortunate that NGOs who have deductible gift recipient status, narrowly with respect to their environmental activities have admitted to channeling funds to run a divisive campaign within the W&J group”, added the spokesperson.

 

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More than 200 Commonwealth Games Athletes Seek Asylum in Australia and 50 Go Missing

More than 200 Commonwealth Games athletes and officials remain in Australia after applying for refugee visas, with another 50 staying in the country illegally.

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More than 200 Commonwealth Games athletes and officials remain in Australia after applying for refugee visas, with another 50 staying in the country illegally.

The figures were revealed by Immigration Department officials to a Senate committee hearing on Monday night, reports Xinhua news agency.

A total of 8,103 athletes, media representatives and officials arrived in Australia on temporary visas for the Gold Coast event which concluded on April 15, with 7,848 returning home after their stay expired last week, meaning 255 stayed in the country.

Of those who have remained in Australia, 205 were legally in the community on bridging visas as they await approval to stay on a permanent basis. Border Force officials have commenced a nationwide search for the other 50 who have overstayed their visas.

The majority of foreigners seeking asylum in Australia were from war-torn African nations such as Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. However some members of the Indian and Pakistani teams have also remained in Australia.

Swimmers. Pixabay

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs deputy secretary, Malisa Golightly, told parliament on Monday night that most of the remaining participants “have applied for protection visas”.

“Anybody that is onshore can apply for protection legally once they are here, but of course then they are considered against … the criteria for that visa,” she said.

The temporary protection visas allow the Commonwealth Games participants to stay in Australia for up to three years and receive welfare benefits.

Peter Dutton, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, said he was disappointed with the number of people who have stayed illegally as they had been welcomed to Australia “in good faith”.

“Australians hate being taken for a ride by freeloaders,” Dutton told Newscorp Australia on Monday night.

Also Read:Indians Among Top Asylum Seekers in the World: International Migration Outlook 2017 Report

“Australia is now obliged under international law to consider these protection visa applications.”

In comparison, only 45 people extended their visas or sought asylum in Australia after the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

–IANS

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