Australian news, and some related international items

Wangan and Jagalingou Aboriginal claim that Adani paid people to stack meeting

Adani accused of paying people to stack its meeting on crucial mine deal  By Josh Robertson Adani is accused of discreetly paying thousands of dollars to recruit people to vote on a crucial mining deal with traditional owners, including Aboriginal people with no link to its Queensland mine site.

A Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) representative said he was paid $2,000 by Adani to boost numbers at the meeting, where he said many who were “not part of my mob” voted on the compensation deal.

Another W&J woman said her family of eight voted against the deal but the official vote recorded just one person against and 294 people in favour.

What’s the deal with the Adani deal?

  • Traditional owners need to sign off on a deal for compensation
  • Adani can’t get finance until the deal is done
  • The deal’s divided the W&J group
  • Last year’s meeting was to sign off on the deal
  • A trial next year will decide whether the meeting was legitimate

The claims are made in sworn statements filed in the Federal Court, ahead of a trial in March to decide whether the meeting legitimately endorsed the Adani deal, which has bitterly divided the W&J

Adani and its supporters in the W&J greeted the overwhelming vote as a ringing endorsement of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) but opponents who boycotted the meeting say it is invalid.

Patrick Malone, a W&J representative who supports the deal, rejected the claims about the meeting as “nonsense”.

The W&J’s 12-person native title representative group is split down the middle on the mine deal, which was revived last year after traditional owners rejected Adani twice before.

Craig Dallen, a fellow representative who has withdrawn his support for Adani, said the meeting on the deal drew about 300 people, or “twice the size of any previous meeting of the claim group”.

“I was paid approximately $2,000 by Adani to get people to the meeting. The more people I brought the more I was paid,” he said in an affidavit.

Mr Dallen said “several other” representatives told him Adani also paid them to recruit people.

He said on top of this Adani paid him and others “generously” to show up, including $400 for him and $250 for each of his children for travel expenses.

Mr Dallen named members of at least eight other Aboriginal nations who were counted as W&J supporters of the mine.

“Some people I did recognise and knew them not to be part of my mob. I saw that they were given arm bands to allow them to vote and participate in the meeting,” he said.

Carmel Gyemore named her cousin as another W&J representative who was “getting paid by Adani for every member of our family who turned up”, including three who were absent.

She also named non-W&J people who “should not have been at our meeting”.

Both said the meeting did not include the usual resolution on who could rightly attend.

Jasmin Broome said her family of eight were “seated together [and] we all voted against accepting the ILUA”.

Ms Broome said she also recognised non-W&J people and filed in court a social media post from members of another family with a picture and the words: “Only come meeting for money.”

Security guards at the meeting were allegedly told to refuse entry to Adrian Burragubba, a W&J man who is an outspoken opponent of the Carmichael mine, “because Adani did not want him at the meeting”.

Mr Malone said votes were counted by scrutineers from a native title legal service and he was not aware of anyone being paid to recruit attendees.

He said W&J representatives “sat with an anthropologist and marked off people and made sure they were W&J”.

“The people who weren’t part of W&J, were given a different-coloured wristband so they could be observers and they could not vote.”

Adani has previously defended the legitimacy of the meeting but a spokesman could not be reached on Friday.


December 4, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies

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