Jangga Step by Step program students Cheryl Rabig, Trakium Prior-Barry and Cedric Nogar are being trained for potential work on the Adani project. Picture: Shae Beplate
Jangga Step by Step program students Cheryl Rabig, Trakium Prior-Barry and Cedric Nogar are being trained for potential work on the Adani project. Picture: Shae Beplate

Group Labor has been ‘ignoring’ on Adani

REPEATED pleas to the State Government by one sector of the community over the Adani megamine have fallen on deaf ears, it has been claimed.

The traditional owners of Galilee Basin lands insist their repeated pleas to meet with the Premier and Treasurer so they could voice concerns about the plight of Aboriginal jobseekers had fallen on deaf ears.

They have accused the State Government of ignoring the rampant unemployment and poverty of indigenous people while pandering to inner-city activists who oppose coalmining.

Their condemnation came as jobseekers hoping to land a role with Adani began training in the unemployment hot spot of Townsville, where voters turned against Labor at the federal election.

Adani has struck a ground-breaking land use agreement with native title claimants, guaranteeing $250 million of contracting work and 7.5 per cent of the jobs at the mine.

Letters obtained by The Courier-Mail show Jangga elder Colin McLennan wrote to Ms Palaszczuk and Ms Trad - who is also Queensland's Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships - on April 11 seeking an urgent meeting.

"We have been working with Adani in partnership to realise these commitments," he wrote. "However, our efforts and expectations are being frustrated by your government."

Wangan and Jagalingou applicant Les Tilley also requested a meeting on May 2, saying they were concerned their views were being ignored.

"The nearby communities have unacceptable unemployment levels for traditional wners and indigenous people in the region, with Rockhampton 25 per cent and Woorabinda 75 per cent,"

 

Jangga Operations director Colin McLennan. Picture: Shae Beplate
Jangga Operations director Colin McLennan. Picture: Shae Beplate

 

Mr Tilley wrote. "This project provides intergenerational opportunities for the W&J people to close the gap."

South Townsville resident Cedric Nogar, 28, said the project could change his life.

"I've been unemployed for about four or five years," Mr Nogar said.

"It would mean a whole lot to me."

Cheryl Rabig, 53 said she had been unemployed for the past six months.

"It's been very tough the past few years," she said.

"I haven't had any good, ongoing full-time work for about three years."

However Ms Trad said last night she was hamstrung by ongoing legal wrangling over the indigenous land use agreements and regulatory decisions.

"I am very aware of the concerns raise by traditional owners on both sides of the argument," she said.

"My decision to allow all legal processes to run their course before meeting with anyone is absolutely about ensuring that the outcome can't be questioned in terms of political interference."



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