TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, John Quiggin, writes in Inside Story (6.9.19) that native title is the latest casualty of Adani’s coalmining plans, but wonders if the project will really proceed.
'It’s now nearly four months since the Morrison government’s re-election and nearly three months since Adani received the critical approvals for its Carmichael mine–rail–port project. Adani has been emboldened by both developments, most notably in its willingness to crush opposition from Indigenous traditional owners.
'Last month the company carried out its threat to bankrupt Adrian Burragubba, the leading Indigenous opponent of the mine, who was unable to meet an order for court costs. At the same time, the company had secretly reached an agreement that the Palaszczuk government, which is running scared after the federal election result in Queensland, would extinguish native title over the mine site.
'Remaining approvals, such as the lease on Moray Downs land for the workers’ camp and airport, have been finalised, and a royalty deal will reportedly be concluded soon. But Adani has yet to negotiate access to the Queensland rail network. Its owner, Aurizon (formerly the publicly operated QR), is coming under pressure from the public and large shareholders to limit assistance to what is legally required.'