Indian mining giant Adani has overcome another legal challenge to its planned Carmichael coal mine, with the federal court rejecting a man’s native title claim.
Adrian Burragubba, a member of the Wangan and Jagalingou People, was challenging a National Native Title Tribunal decision that allowed the Queensland government to issue mining licences for the project.
Mr Burragubba had argued the tribunal had failed to take into account material he placed before it and that Adani had dishonestly misled the tribunal on the economic benefits of the mine.
But Judge John Reeves dismissed Mr Burragubba’s application for a judicial review of the tribunal’s decision on Friday, finding none of his grounds had any merit.
Afterwards, Mr Burragubba said he was not surprised by the decision but would be seeking legal advice regarding an appeal.
“It is clear, however, that my submissions to the court and our concern to protect our life, culture and traditions and the social, cultural and economic structures of our group were dismissed and overridden,” he said in a statement.
But Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche described the case as just one in a “long line of green legal activist legal suits”.
“The appeal by Adrian Burragubba, represented by the taxpayer-funded Environmental Defenders Office, is merely a tactic of the anti-coal brigade,” he said in a statement.
Mr Roche again called on the state and federal governments to urgently overhaul the court system to prevent “blatant abuse” by green activists wanting to continuously disrupt and delay projects.
Mr Burragubba said he and other Wangan and Jagalingou council representatives were also challenging the mines’ leases in a judicial review in the Supreme Court.
That case would be heard in November, he said.
Queensland Mines Minster Anthony Lynham granted mining leases for the $22 billion Carmichael mine, rail and port project in April, despite unresolved legal challenges and the prospect of further court appeals.
The mine slated for central Queensland’s Galilee Basin has been beset by a string of legal challenges from environmental and community groups.
Adani has said it hopes to begin construction next year.