Media Release: W&J appeal will hold Adani accountable to Australian law, 25 Jan 2019

The UN has requested that construction of the Adani Carmichael mine be suspended until Adani obtains the consent of the Traditional Owners, the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) People,​ w​hich is currently the subject of an appeal in the Federal Court.

Grata Fund, the public interest litigation fund securing the costs on behalf of the​ W&J People, maintains that the appeal will resolve an important question of Australian native title law, despite Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan’s comments that the UN should “respect the Australian legal system”.

“In a democracy, it is the job of courts to hold everyone - including governments and major corporations - accountable to the law,” says Isabelle Reinecke, founder of Grata Fund.

“No government or mining company is above the law, and we have strict laws governing corporate access to Aboriginal land. The fact is that the law requires that members of the Native Title group, the W​angan and Jagalingou people must give their free, prior and informed consent.

“Minister Canavan’s comments, far from upholding Australian law, show a lack of respect for Australia’s legal system. The UN’s request is for the Australian Government to suspend the Carmichael Coal Mine until free, prior and informed consent of the Wangan and Jagalingou people is obtained.

“Grata Fund is proud to be supporting the ​Wangan and Jagalingou people in their efforts to protect their land and culture.

“The courts should not be accessible only to the rich, Grata’s purpose is to empower this type of citizen action to hold governments and corporations accountable to the law.”

CONTACT: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965