Native Rights Activists pushed back on Brandis’s ill-conceived ‘Adani amendments’, and encouraged the Labor Opposition to hold a line on decency, said Adrian Burraguba today.
The $21bn Adani coal project has been the focus of strong opposition from environmental groups. Photograph: Paul Miller/AAP
More than 6,000 supporters contacted Bill Shorten’s office over the last two weeks in response to Labor’s apparent capitulation to pressure from the mining lobby and native title bureaucrats. It was an overwhelming and positive demonstration of concern and integrity by W&J supporters, and a demand to do what’s right, say the activists.
At the end of two weeks of sittings in which the Senate was expected to carry Brandis’ amendments, the Government failed to pass its Bill.
Local activists hav3 fought hard against this change to the native title law. They lobbied in Canberra, ran media, prepared legal analysis, made detailed submissions and appeared before the Senate Inquiry. They also met the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The success of the campaign demonstrates just how much people in Australia care about Aboriginal rights and the protection of our lands and waters. And how much they don’t want Adani’s mine proposal.
This is a major setback for Adani, the Qld Government, and their backers in the mining lobby, who thought the amendments would help them circumvent the legal challenge that has been mounted to their sham land use deal.
The Adani Board is apparently set to make a decision within the next two weeks on whether to push on with the mine project. But it still faces court actions.
Right now, their purported ‘Indigenous land use agreement’ is worthless. It is clear this controversial Bill does not sit well with many Labor and crossbench MPs - and the incompetent rush with which Attorney General Brandis went about it added insult to injury.
Labor's resistance on some elements of the bill, has been welcomed which has prevented its passage through the Senate, though it doesn't diminish their unacceptable support for the key measures.
And Labor are still ready to back dangerous native title changes. If the changes they do support are passed in the next sitting of Parliament, it will strip away protections and hand mining companies like Adani the means to divide and conquer us and traditional owners around the country.
Hence, say activists, the need to continue to fight against the winding back and removal of our rights.
The Parliament must go back to the drawing board on Native Title reform and deliver a just outcome that protects the integrity of our decision-making and our right to self-determination.
Please follow up with Bill Shorten, Mark Dreyfus and Pat Dodson to encourage them to turn their resistance into a positive new move for native title reform and land justice. And Cc us of course, so we can share your concerns with the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Activists have appealed for the campaign to continue.
The Government, Adani and the mining lobby are overconfident in their power to subordinate the rights of Indigenous peoples. What they don’t understand is how resolved Native activists are, and how much support in the community they have, to defend their rights.
Now that the Turnbull Government’s divisive Native Title amendment bill is languishing in the Senate, activists have sworn redouble efforts. They have vowed not to have tjeir rights violated by a land use deal that they do not agree to, which would open the way to the mass destruction of their country.
(Adria Burragubba & Murrawah Johnson for the Wangan & Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council)