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Aboriginal protesters set up a blockade outside the entrance to the Adani coal mine

Aboriginal protesters have blocked the main road to the controversial Adani Carmichael coal mine in a bid to stop construction.

More than 20 people, including Traditional Owners of Wangan and Jagalingou country, stood outside the central Queensland facility on Monday.

Adrian Burragubba, a Wangan and Jagalingou man, was among the protesters and has been a key figure in the decade-long opposition of the coal mine.

‘We’re taking back control of our land, that’s what we’re doing here,’ he said. 

‘We’re doing it because we’ve been ignored, as the original Wangan and Jagalingou people, we’ve been ignored through this whole process.’

Mr Burragubba has repeatedly taken his case to the courts in a bid to stop the mining facility being built over the last decade. 

‘We do not acknowledge the Queensland government’s illegal land grab,’ he said.

‘We do not acknowledge any sham Adani agreements that were created without free, prior and informed consent of the Wangan and Jagalingou people.’

An Adani spokeswoman said in a statement that work continued despite the blockade.  

‘Queensland Police are on site and project works are continuing despite this attempted interruption,’ the spokesperson said.

‘People at the camp site do not represent the W&J native title claimants.

‘In 2016 the W&J People voted 294 to 1 in favour of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement which endorsed the Carmichael Project.

‘We are dedicated to working in partnership with all our Traditional Owners, including the Wangan and Jagalingou People, guided by the Indigenous Land Use Agreements.’

An eviction noticed served to Adani on August 20 by Mr Burragubba claimed the company, as well as state and federal governments, approved the mine in opposition to the wants of Traditional Owners.

The group also claimed the bodies established a sham Indigenous Land Use Agreement and barred traditional owners from entering their lands. 

The Carmichael mine began construction in June 2019 after Adani’s Australian branch was given approval.   

Clermont, halfway between Rockhampton and Mackay, is the closest populated area to the planned mine.

Some people in the town claimed the mine would be beneficial to them.  

In April 2019, 400 Adani protesters swarmed the small town much to the ire of locals.

Residents, who are mainly pleased about employment opportunities the mine will produce, refused to serve the activists at cafes and restaurants.

The mine is set to begin producing in 2021 with an output of ten million tonnes of coal every year.

The business would generate $223,312,000 every year with this output. 

A Queensland Police spokesman said officers are still on the scene and negotiations are ongoing. No arrests have been made. 

 

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