The Courier-Mail

MINE FIGHT GETS DIRTY

Court action demands climate change response to Adani project

- BRIAN WILLIAMS

AN INDIGENOUS group has accused the Adani megamine of giving faulty informatio­n as the desperatel­y needed jobs creator faces yet another legal hurdle.

Traditiona­l owner Adrian Burragubba will challenge the mine in the Federal Court claiming flawed and misleading analysis of jobs and revenue, and also accused the native title tribunal of racial discrimina­tion for not granting him and other Aboriginal­s equal rights before it.

Mr Burragubba’s lawyers denied the challenge was part of any green conspiracy, but its grounds also include what it says was the tribunal’s failure to consider the Carmichael mine’s impact on climate change.

The appeal comes two weeks after the Federal Court ruled the Environmen­t Department had not properly considered the proposed $7.5 billion central Queensland mine’s impacts on the yakka skink and ornamental snake after a challenge by green activists. Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggested the greens put money towards the native title claim with a view to blocking the project.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk estimates the Adani mine and others in the Galilee Basin would create 9500 jobs and $21.7 billion in investment.

Mr Burragubba’s lawyer Benedict Coyne has denied any suggestion of green conspiracy saying funding came from the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditiona­l Owners Aborginal Corporatio­n and the legal team were working free. “Our client is a small fish up against a deeppocket­ed multinatio­nal goliath planning a $16 billion coal mine on his people’s traditiona­l lands — the largest in Australian history,’’ he said.

An Adani spokesman said the tribunal’s original judgment found he had no grounds.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said Mr Burragubba now sought to further delay the project with litigation in line with conserva- tionists’ anti-coal strategy. Mr Burragubba’s grounds for a judicial review of the NNTT decision to grant rights to Adani include that the company put informatio­n to the tribunal which was not true, correct or complete, did not consider subsidies and costs imposed upon the state.

It also claims Adani failed to detail informatio­n regarding climate change consequenc­es, groundwate­r impacts and effects on endangered species.

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