Adrian Burragubba,
on behalf of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council
for the Wangan and Jagalingou people :

When we rejected Indian mining company Adani’s offer to exploit our land, they took aggressive legal action to overrule our rights just six days later. Now we have to fight to protect our land in court.

They have betrayed our trust and are getting set to destroy our land and our culture. You’ve pledged your support, but now I’m going to have to ask you, if you can, to help me again.

We face losing everything that is our inheritance. But to mount this fight to protect our heritage, we need more than our conviction and courage. We urgently need funds to mount a legal challenge and appeal against Adani’s action. Can you please make a donation so we can fight Adani in court?

Adani is trying everything, and from the beginning have shown their arrogant, disrespectful treatment of our law and customs. They have misrepresented us, and they have betrayed us. They took action to remove our rights through a legal system designed to favour big mining over the rights of Indigenous peoples. It seems they’ll stop at nothing to get their mine, which will destroy our ancestral land and the underpinnings of our lore and culture.

If we can raise enough money, we will appeal the National Native Title Tribunal’s decision to allow the Queensland Government to issue mining leases to Adani, despite our refusal to enter an agreement with the company. The Tribunal even recognised that we have not given our consent or agreement to the mine, but still overruled our internationally recognised rights in favour of Adani.

The Tribunal has sanctioned the destruction of our ancestral lands and cultural heritage on the grounds that it’s in the ‘public interest’. We will contest the idea that building one of the world’s largest coal mines is good for the people and the country.

Our right to self-determination and free, prior, and informed consent is being trampled.

We have to fight back, but we can only do it with the help of our supporters. Can you please get behind us to fight for our rights and our land in court by donating to our fighting fund? http://www.getup.org.au/stand-with-us

The truth is we’re up against a multi-billion dollar company and a legal system that makes it very tough for traditional owners. We know we’ve got a strong, righteous case to run, but we’re not going to leave it at that.

We’ll continue to fight for our rights through the courts, and look to international law if need be. We will visit investment banks around the world to stop the project getting funding. And if it comes to it, we will take our fight all the way to the United Nations.

This fight will define our people and be a landmark moment for Indigenous rights and climate change in Australia. Can you help us defeat Adani by donating to our fighting fund?

Adani think they can walk all over us but they’ve never seen anything like this. Our lands and our way of life, and the legacy of our ancestors, mean too much to our people to rollover. We are here to fight and we won’t stop until our land is protected.

PS – After I first wrote to you and others, Wangan and Jagalingou people were overwhelmed by the response. To know that more than 90,000 people have chosen to stand with us as we fight to protect our land and our culture from Adani has given us real strength and confidence. On behalf of Wangan and Jagalingou people who are opposed to this mine, we sincerely thank you.

See also earlier interpretOr piece: Great Barrier Reef threat – Government of India report contains clear evidence that (Abbot Point) developer Adani Enterprises “violated environmental norms” at Mundra Port (India)