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Adani Accused Of Bankrupting First Nations Leader

Jeremy Buckingham looks at ADani rail wite

The Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council sain on Friday, Adani has achieved a new low, setting a brutal standard of corporate behaviour.

In a statement sent to media outlets, the Family Council said that for the first time in Australia's history, a company has bankrupted an Aboriginal leader for standing up for the inalienable rights of First Nations people to our law, our country and our culture.

"This morally bankrupt attack on W&J cultural leader, Adrian Burragubba, lays bare the abuse of power and the greed of this rich corporate bully. The W&J Council will not be deterred by this latest move in Adani's "attack dog" strategy, or retreat from our support for our leaders and people. When it comes to the opening up of the Galilee Basin for coal mining, No still means No.

"We will be calling on all First Nations people and all our supporters to stand against the ruthless suppression and legal harassment of our human rights defenders" the statement read.  

Wangan and Jagalingou Council senior spokesperson, Adrian Burragubba said: “I am not going anywhere. I will speak out against the deals with Adani, just as I speak out against the governments that have allowed and authorised all this to happen.

“I opposed Adani because we will not be on our hands and knees begging for handouts from mining companies, while they destroy our land and culture.

“This bankruptcy means nothing to me. I have nothing for Adani to take. My family were removed from the land by governments and everything that was rightfully ours was taken from us. As a result, I come from a poor background. I'm in the same boat as the other W&J families.

“I had nothing in the first place other than my birthright: my law and people, my culture and connection to country. That will always abide with me and I will always defend it and my people’s claim to our land rights and our self determination.

“For one of the wealthiest corporations in India to come to Australia and bankrupt an Aboriginal person for standing up for his rights is egregious in the extreme, and a failure of the justice system in this country.

“Adani will be held to account for his claim that our people will be lifted out of poverty. And they will be held to account for their reprehensible behaviour.

“Those 294 people in his pocket were promised they would be raised up to the same standards of middle class Australia. Is Adani Mining some saviour that’s going to overcome the failures of the last 231 years? Those people believed the lies. I'm holding them to account”, concluded Mr Burragubba.

Adani Australia has been contacted for comment.

By Michelle Price