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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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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)