CQR boss Ian Macfarlane.
CQR boss Ian Macfarlane. Bev Lacey

Industry backs indigenous leader's attack on anti-Adani Greens

QUEENSLAND Resources Council has backed prominent indigenous leader Dr Marcia Langton's claims that green activists are hijacking and undermining the interests of Aboriginal people.

In an address to the Australian Mining Industry Annual Lecture in Melbourne, Dr Langton, who is one of the nation's pre-eminent authorities on native title, told the audience "wealthy overseas interests” and deceptive media tactics by some organisations were creating legal and economic traps.

READ: Adani's huge miners village and airstrip looming.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said there was an urgent need to overhaul the rules surrounding foreign donations, harsher penalties for green activists who broke the law, and a closure of the legal loopholes being used to disrupt and delay resource projects.

"Dr Langton was spot on in her speech. Many of the green activist groups receive funding from overseas, in particular from the United States, which enables the activists to disrupt and delay natural resources development here in Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said.

He said the ongoing native title legislation debacle had been used by the Greens to assert there was no consent from traditional owners for Indigenous Land Use Agreements - a claim that Dr Langton said was the opposite of the wishes of the majority of indigenous people.

"Legal loopholes at both state and federal levels are also enabling foreign-funded activists to delay resource projects in the courts for years. GVK, New Hope and Adani are the current poster children for that tactic,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Indian mining giant Adani, which this week formally locked in its support for the $16.5 billion Carmichael coalmine in Queensland, has secured four land-use agreements with local Aboriginal clans after years of consultation.

A spokesperson for The Greens said the party was not responding but referred to a previous statement from the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council.  

"Adani can put on whatever song and dance they like but the reality is that we have never consented to Adani's mine being constructed on our land,” this statement said.

The council's senior spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said the company and Queensland Government did not have an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with "our people”.

Adrian Burragubba, spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners's council outside the Brisbane Federal Court Monday. Photo: Geoff Egan / APN NEWSDESK
Adrian Burragubba, spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners's council.

"Adani is going nowhere fast. They have no money for their project, and they don't have the crucial tradition owner's consent they need to build it. We have them in the Federal Court until March 2018 at least,” Mr Burragubba said this week.