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Indian conglomerate Adani Group today said it is in talks with an aboriginal group, which is attempting to stop its 16.5 billion dollar mine project being established on its ancestral land in Australia’s Queensland state, to provide them significant and lasting benefits.
The development came after Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people mounted pressure to block Adani’s Carmichael mine project and rejected the ‘Indigenous Land Use Agreement’ with the company.
The Adani statement said that W&J native title applicants and company’s top official Samir Vora held discussions today on the implementation of arrangements to provide significant, lasting benefits to the traditional owners of the Carmichael mine site.
“Adani’s relationship with Wangan and Jagalingou people is central to our commitment build a long term future with Queensland. Adani considers that it is critical that the Wangan and Jagalingou benefit directly from the jobs and economic benefits that the Carmichael mine will bring to Queensland.
“It is, and will always be, a central focus of Adani to work with the W&J to deliver this benefit to the community at every stage of our projects,” Adani Australia Chief Operating Officer Vora said.
Adani, which had turned to National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) recently to override W&J objection, said the tribunal has also handed down its determination on the company’s remaining Carmichael mining leases which could be granted without further consideration of native title issues.
Adani said that “in summary NNTT determined that the project is in the public interest, there is no evidence that the project will have any effect on the W&J’s way of life, culture or traditions, or development of their social, cultural or economic structures, and the project was unlikely to affect any areas or sites of particular cultural heritage significance.
Adani has argued that the Carmichael mine, together with its other projects in Queensland, the North Galilee Basin Rail and the port at Abbot Point, was central to the company’s plan to deliver 10,000 jobs to the state and 22 billion dollar in taxes and royalties to be invested back into frontline services over the half-life of the projects.
According to W&J native title applicant Irene White, “All members of the W&J native title party negotiated with Adani in good faith and reached an agreement that will deliver genuine and lasting intergenerational benefits to our community for now and into the future.
“We won’t tolerate the interference of vested interests whose focus is on matters other than the welfare and opportunities of our people — they won’t be allowed to interfere in our community decision making process on what is best for the future of our community and the economic benefits that will flow from the project”.
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