Adani: A Defining Moment for Indigenous Rights in Australia?

Adani: A Defining Moment for Indigenous Rights in Australia?

Tue 2 Oct 2018 6:00pm8:00pm


Level 1, Michie Building (#9)
The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus
UQ Anthropology Museum

In The Coal Truth: The Fight to Stop Adani, Defeat the Big Polluters and Reclaim Our Future, David Ritter shows us beyond all doubt, there is no safe, livable future that involves digging up more Australian coal. And yet this is exactly what the Queensland and Federal Governments appear hell bent on doing, and sidelining Indigenous rights and environmental protection along the way.

This panel discussion, bringing together some of the country’s leading thinkers and front line campaigners, will examine Australia’s love affair with coal. It will examine the flaws in the current legal and political system that consistently prioritises large scale, highly destructive developments rather than protecting the rights of nature and the rights of communities, and which allows the sidelining and silencing of Indigenous rights and interests.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the current governments’ support for opening up the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, including to establish Adani’s mega Carmichael mine project. We are watching this play out despite the reality of dubious coal economics and climate constraint, and the energy transition that is well underway.

Adani’s Carmichael mine, if it proceeds, will cause untold destruction to Wangan and Jagalingou country. With this threat, families from across the Wangan and Jagalingou nations are fighting to defend their internationally recognised rights to oppose the Carmichael mine from proceeding on their homelands. Their legal and political campaign has garnered global attention and exposed the racial discrimination embedded in the Australian settler colonial state. The battle continues, in the courts and on the streets. The future of Adani’s proposed mine and its potential devastation to Wangan and Jagalingou country remains unknown.

This battle against the Adani mine represents a defining moment in Australian history. Whether this moment will be harnessed to progress the cause of Indigenous rights and self determination – including for Wangan and Jagalingou – remains to be seen.


Murrawah Johnson – Youth Spokesperson Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council, Activist of the Year (Ngara Institute) and on the 50 Grist list – acknowledging her place amongst the world’s best and brightest fighting for the planet.

Dr Michelle Maloney – Co-founder and National Convenor, Australian Earth Laws Alliance

David Ritter – Chief Executive Greenpeace Australia Pacific, and author of The Coal Truth: The Fight to Stop Adani, Defeat the Big Polluters and Reclaim Our Democracy

Professor John Quiggin – prominent Australian economist and UQ Vice Chancellors Senior Research Fellow

Event Program and Timings

When: Tuesday 2 October, 6:00pm - 8:00pm (light refreshments from 6:00pm, with speakers beginning at 6.30pm).

Where: UQ Anthropology Museum, Level 1, Michie Building (#9), The University of Queensland. 

This event is hosted by Brisbane Free University and UQ’s Human Rights Consortium.


Sally Babidge