Aboriginal leader slams 'white activists' against Adani

Warren Mundine.
Warren Mundine. SAM MOOY

ONE of the nation's top indigenous political advisers Warren Mundine has slammed white "activists” lobbying against Adani's mega mine in Central Queensland.

In a stongly worded message, reported in The Australian this week, the leading Aboriginal figure attacked anti-coal activists as "colonial oppressors” for crusading against the $16.5m project.

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The national broadsheet reported Mr Mundine saying green groups opposed to the rail line were denying indigenous people the ability to use their own land as an economic asset.

He slammed activists for expecting millions of Indians to live without power, "cooking on dung stoves and dying of respiratory illnesses”.

"This isn't about being pro or anti-coal. It's about traditional owners making decisions about their own country without meddling by special interests,” Mr Mundine is reported as saying.

"These activists are no better than the protectors who told us what to do during the days of segregation.”

He said indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs) had been negotiated by Adani with half a dozen traditional owner groups, including the Wangan and Jagalingou People Native Title Claim group, which voted 294-1 in favour.

He warned the McGlade decision by the Federal Court in February - rendering invalid all ILUAs without the agreement of every designated applicant in native title claim - is the "greatest threat to indigenous self-determination in a very long time”.

"Adani is an Indian company,” Mr Mundine says.

"The traditional owner groups are Aboriginal.

"The only white people in this scenario are the activists.

"The activists have all the priveleges of the modern world but would deny indigenous people using their land as an economic asset and...expect hundreds of millions of Indians to live without electricity, cooking on dung stoves and dying of respiratory illnesses.”

The Australian reported the government hoped to pass amendments to the Native Title Act as soon as next month to reverse the decision of the Federal Court and ensure ILUAs with majority support from indigenous groups can be restored.

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