For the past several years, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, the original sovereign people of a large area of land in the Galilee Basin in Queensland have been fighting an ongoing battle against Indian multi-billion dollar mining company, Adani.
Why is this mine so significant?
The Adani mine was first proposed in 2010, and should it have gone ahead as planned, would have been the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere. Due to the ongoing efforts of the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people, combined with that of environmental groups, the proposed mine has been whittled down to less than half of its initial capacity.
And still, the megamine under construction is shaping up to be Australia’s largest thermal coal mine, in a time where coal is at a downturn in the global economy, and the climate crisis is spiralling out of control. The Adani mine, should it reach its completion, will both open the door for several other mining hopefuls in Queensland's precious Galilee Basin and also produce enough coal to blow the world's carbon budget, making it an ethical, cultural, local, national and international issue.
Forcible removal from country
In 2019, the Queensland government quietly extinguished native title of over 1,385 hectares of Wangan and Jagalingou country for the proposed Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin. The decision saw the W&J protesters forcibly removed by police from their traditional land. Council leader Adrian Burragubba and a group of W&J representatives had been calling on the government to rule out transferring their land, as they had never given their consent for Adani to occupy their country.
In August 2020, the Wangan and Jaglingou people returned to their land, handing Adani an eviction notice, turning the tables and asserting their legal rights as the sovereign caretakers of the land on which the mine is being built. Needless to say, Adani is continuing to push back.
Standing in Solidarity
After having faced a string of relentless court battles intended to bankrupt Mr. Burragubba, the Wangan and Jagalingou people are now calling on the public for their support in their continued fight against the mega mine.
We at Life Apparel stand in solidarity with the Wangan and Jagalingou people in their fight against Adani. If you would like to follow their story, learn more, donate or find other ways you can get involved, head over to the W&J Standing Our Ground website, Facebook or Instagram page.
(Image and video sourced from standing-our-ground.org)