• Adrian Burragubba is calling on the UN to intervene on the Adani mine. (AAP)Source: AAP
In the latest of challenges to the Adani mine, Wangan and Jagalingou campaigners are now hoping the UN will intervene.
Tom Stayner

3 Aug 2018 - 4:45 PM  UPDATED 3 Aug 2018 - 4:45 PM

Traditional Owners opposed to the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland are now appealing to the United Nations to help stop the project.

The Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council have written to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination saying Australia's actions breach the racial discrimination convention.

"Australia is violating its obligation to eliminate racial discrimination against Indigenous people by failing to protect our culture and sacred sites,” the complaint states.

"Adani has used the coercive power of Australia’s Native Title Act to its advantage."

Adrian Burragubba, a cultural leader for the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council, is hoping the UN will condemn Australia at a meeting in Geneva this month.

"We've got no alternative now but to appeal to the United Nations and the world community for these violations of our rights," he told NITV News.

"If they don't listen to our world view of what the land means to us and how it will be affected by this massive mine then we are being discriminated against," Mr Burragubba said.

An Adani Australia spokesperson told NITV News it will continue to work with Traditional Owners through Indigenous Land Agreements registered with the National Native Title Tribunal.

"As this complaint to the UN relates to a matter before the Court in Australia, we are unable to provide specific comment however, we always comply with our legal obligations." 

Adani Australia has secured an Indigenous Land Use agreement in 2016 with the Wangan and Jagalingou but the deal remains in dispute in the Federal Court.

Mr Burragubba is also concerned the Queensland government could remove their native title claim even if the Federal Court rules the land use deal with Adani invalid. 

“We’ve been fighting with the state government to not extinguish our native title and give it to Adani to establish its infrastructure,” he said.

The last line of defence: Indigenous rights and Adani’s land deal
The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council (W&J) is involved in a remarkable struggle to assert their Indigenous rights in opposition to the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine. Despite the company’s board-level decision to proceed, the mine has not cleared all legal hurdles.

But Mr Burragubba said those opposed to the mining proposal deserve to have a voice.

"This mine is going to destroy our dreaming sites and natural springs and waterways that go back to the time of memorial," he said. 

The UN complaint has also been delivered to Australian political leaders ahead of the Geneva meeting.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter, Australia’s ambassador to the UN Gillian Bird and Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk have all received the document.

Time bought as traditional owners continue fight against Adani mine
Traditional owners fighting the Adani Carmichael coal mine have won a crucial battle in their bid to stop the mine being built on Wangan and Jagalingou land.