Appeal against Adani mine dismissed
The Federal Court has ruled as valid an indigenous land usage agreement that could permanently extinguish native title in the area the controversial Carmichael coal mine is to be built.
A group of five Aboriginal opponents to the mine alleged the process of checking whether the traditional owners who voted on the ILUA had legitimate native title claims "lacked rigour".
However the court on Friday dismissed the appeal by Wangan and Jagalingou people, including activist Adrian Burragubba.
Their challenge sought to overturn a decision handed down in 2018 that found an ILUA between Adani and the Wangan and Jagalingou people was valid.
The group claimed Justice John Reeves' interpretation of the Native Title Act was flawed and he should have found Adani had not made a reasonable effort to establish if the people voting on the ILUA had a right to.
They also submitted that the Adani ILUA did not provide a "complete description" of the area of land in which native title would be surrendered.
But a full bench of the court disagreed.
"In this case, the application was accompanied by a complete description of the boundaries of the area within which the ILUA intended that native title rights and interests were 'intended' to be extinguished," Justices Steve Rare and Alan Robertson said.
They also found Adani's public advertising concerning the proposed ILUA before it was voted on, along with anthropological information collected, was a "reasonable effort" to ensure all persons who hold or may hold native title had been identified.