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



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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Australian government to find humane solutions for refugees in Manus Island

FILE - An undated image released Nov. 13, 2017, shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. (Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters)
FILE - An undated image released Nov. 13, 2017, shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. (Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters). VOA

The U.N. refugee agency is calling on the Australian government to find humane solutions for hundreds of refugees it has abandoned in a precarious situation on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

UNHCR accuses the Australian government of shirking its responsibilities to care for and protect some 800 refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.

It says the situation has become more precarious for the refugees since the government closed its so-called offshore processing facility at the end of October. Over the past four weeks, it notes, refugees who were moved to three new accommodation sites have been attacked several times. The worst case involved three people armed with machetes and an axe.

UNHCR spokeswoman, Cecile Pouilly, says local hostility and resentment against the refugees is high and growing. She told VOA the Australian authorities must resolve this critical situation.

“We are talking here about people who have suffered extreme trauma and now are feeling so insecure in these places where they are staying. There are many victims of torture. People who have been deeply traumatized have been detained, having no idea what is going to happen next to them. I think this mental issue, this psychological issue is a major one,” Pouilly said.

A recent medical report commissioned by UNHCR finds the cumulative effect of uncertainty about their future is causing a deterioration in the mental and physical health of the refugees.

It warns cessation of services, substandard living and hygiene conditions and inadequate medical care are increasing violence and self-harm among the refugees. (VOA)

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