• "The document Adani is trying to pass off as an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with our people is illegitimate": Adrian Burragubba. (AAP)Source: AAP
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.
Rachael Hocking

19 Dec 2017 - 10:36 AM  UPDATED 19 Dec 2017 - 12:36 PM

It comes just ten days after the National Native Title Tribunal registered an Indigenous Land Use Agreement, which implies the Wangan and Jagalingou people’s support for the mine, despite pending legal action challenging the ILUA's legitimacy. 

Predicting the ILUA’s registration before their day in court, those opposed to the mine filed an application for an injunction against Adani and the Queensland government prior to the NNTT’s decision, to prevent the extinguishment of native title by the Queensland government.

That injunction won't be heard until the end of January, but on Monday the opposed group was granted an interim injunction, meaning native title cannot be extinguished until the injunction application is heard. Adani objected to the matter, while the state government neither consented nor opposed. 

Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council Spokesperson, Adrian Burragubba said it was a small win.

“The interim injunction offers some respite. It ensures that extinguishment of our native title cannot be snuck through over the holiday period," he said in a statement. 

“Extinguishment of native title is a very serious matter. The Queensland Government and Adani want to move quickly, ahead of our hearing in March in which we seek to void Adani’s supposed land use deal."

The legal situation is complex as support within the Wangan and Jagalingou native title claimant group remains split. Just half (six of 12) in the claimant group support the Adani mine. Originally seven of the group backed the ILUA, but earlier this year one of those claimants withdrew his support for the mine and those backing it lost their majority.

A Federal Court legal challenge to the ILUA, on behalf of Wangan and Jagalingou mob who oppose the mine, is scheduled for March 2018. They argue, among many things, that a meeting of 295 people earlier this year did not legitimately endorse the Adani deal, despite the official vote recording one person against and 294 people in favour.

Another meeting of Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners was held at the beginning of December where 120 attendees voted against the ILUA. 

Since the NNTT registered the ILUA those opposed have ramped up their efforts, fearing the Queensland Government could at any moment extinguish native title in the land-use area. 

“We call on the Government to take a more pro-active role in standing up for our rights, and not Adani’s interests," Mr Burragubba said.

"The Government ignored us throughout the last term because they didn’t want to take no for an answer. It’s time they stopped to listen to us, and quit opposing us in the courts. Yesterday was a good start."

Those in the claimant group who support the mine maintain that it will bring much needed jobs, compensation and business projects to their people.