Judicial Review affirms Right to Mining Lease over Native Title Claim Area

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Judicial Review affirms Right to Mining Lease over Native Title Claim Area

Burragubba v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 984

The applicant made an application for judicial review under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) seeking to challenge the decision made on 8 April 2015 by the National Native Title Tribunal to grant a mining lease to the second respondent (Adani Mining Pty Ltd). The administrative decision related to the Carmichael Coal Mine mining leases in the Galilee Basin, Queensland. The mining leases are on the native title claim area of the Wangan and Jagalingou application. The application for review was made on the grounds that the second respondent’s conduct before the Native Title Tribunal was fraudulent:

…in that it dishonestly misled the Tribunal by submitting the economic section of the Executive Summary to Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Carmichael Mine project to the Tribunal and deliberately refrained from providing the expert’s reports that it had placed before the Land Court of Queensland, which drew materially different conclusions about the economic benefits that would flow from the project in terms of jobs and economic activity. [6(a)]

Additionally, the applicant claimed the Native Title Tribunal had failed to consider the effect of the proposed lease on the claimant’s enjoyment of the area under s 39(1)(a) of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

The judicial review found there was no fraud by the second respondent, and that the applicant’s presentation of ‘interests, proposals, opinions or wishes of the native title parties’ pursuant to the requirements under s 39(1)(b) of the Native Title Act 1993 to the original decision-maker did not fall within the criterion of this section and so the Tribunal was not bound to consider the contents presented by the applicant. The applicant therefore failed to succeed on any grounds for review.

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