It’s been over 200 years since the colonization and invasion of Australia began, and yet the Australian government is still trying to continue its streak of stealing Aboriginal land. For years, the traditional owners have been fighting to keep Wangan and Jagalingou country from being turned into the largest coal mine ever in Australia by the Queensland government and Adani, with the full support from the Federal Government. This site will destroy and ruin flora and fauna, lands and waters, and ancestral sites; and the massive increase of carbon emissions would contribute enormously to global warming.
There will also be direct and indirect impacts on the Great Barrier Reef from the Abbot Point Port expansion on Juru country.
The Adani Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. They plan on building the Carmichael coal mine and a rail line which will cut across the country of four traditional owner groups – Wangan and Jagalingou, Jangga, Birriah and Juru. The mining site will be covering more than 200 square kilometers which will trigger around 60 million tons of emissions a year, with coal being exported to India.
Recently, despite visible opposition to the Carmichael coal mine by traditional owners, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has decided that he is prepared to give a concessional loan of $1 billion dollars of taxpayers money to Adani. Mr Turnbull promising such assistance means the building of the site could be closer to starting in the middle of next year if the project can actually raise the massive amount of capital it would need.
The federal government isn’t the only one pushing and supporting Adani’s Carmichael mine. The state government of Queensland, led by Annastacia Palaszczuk, is doing everything it can to support the construction of the mine, which is very odd considering one of her main promises to the citizens of Queensland was that she’d do everything to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Ms Palaszczuk has basically exposed herself as a leader who is not for the people, especially Indigenous people.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, also announced that Adani would bring in “generational jobs.” All I could deduct from her statement is that Adani will be destroying Aboriginal lands and country for generations. While the Carmichael coal mine has been said to bring 10,000 jobs into the region, court hearings have found that these numbers have been blown well out of proportion – not just by Adani but the state and federal governments as well. In fact, the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council is fighting Adani in the Federal Court due to its misleading conduct on this inflation of the promise of jobs and prosperity in the region. Not to mention farmers and grazers will also suffer because this mine is projected to drain billions of tons of water. In regional Queensland, water is very important as drought is all too familiar in this area.
Australian governments, both state and federal, are ignoring the concerns of Aboriginal people working to stop the mine, and the Indigenous voices that are reaching out to the wider community protesting against it. The government is knowingly undermining the rights of traditional owners to their lands and waters, and allowing Adani access to them for their destructive mega-mine.
Adani needs to leave Australia alone. The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council are still fighting. It is their land the mining company plans to destroy forever. Wangan and Jagalingou youth leader Murrawah Johnson said the council had “vowed to do everything in [their] power to stop the mine proceeding, and [they] will take [their] concerns to the high court if necessary”. Adani will be no match for the Indigenous millennials who are actively working to protect their country. They have not yet seen what Indigenous Australians have in store for them. These people will never give up.
Adani, you are on Aboriginal land, respect them and their wishes and leave. You are not wanted here.
If you’d like to help to halt Adani’s Carmichael mine here’s a link to donate money for the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council who are doing everything to stop it. You can also peruse the #NoAdani hashtag to see the latest news or the newest ways to help and spread awareness of Adani.