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Adani questions where opponents get their money

Wangan and Jagalingou man Adrian Burragubba is taking legal action to stop the Adani Carmichael mine.
Wangan and Jagalingou man Adrian Burragubba is taking legal action to stop the Adani Carmichael mine. Geoff Egan / ARM NEWSDESK

ADANI'S lawyers have questioned where an indigenous group challenging the controversial Carmichael mine gets its money from and accused the group of using legal delay tactics.

The Brisbane Federal Court on Tuesday heard the Indian mining company has already spent $1.4 billion on the controversial central Queensland mine. 

The court heard the Wangan and Jagalingou people lodged an injunction in an attempt to stop part of their native title land being surrendered.

The group gained an interim injunction on December 18, 2017 and were arguing on Tuesday that it should continue until a hearing in March.

Barrister for Adani, Patrick O'Shea, asked W&J solicitor Colin Hardie multiple questions regarding the financial arrangement between Mr Hardie's legal firm Just Us lawyers and the W&J group.

Mr Hardie said he did not know where the group gets their money and worries they may not be able to pay future bills. 

"I do have my doubts," he said.

"But they haven't had any problems in the past."

Mr Hardie told the court W&J had been billed and had paid their bills to Just Us. He said he was unsure where W&J got their money but said he knew they took donations.

"I don't have any specific knowledge, I haven't seen their accounts or anything," he said.

"I am aware that they have raised funds by public subscription."

"Other than that, I have no understanding or recollection ... as to where they get their money from."

Mr O'Shea told the court W&J could have made this challenge more than 18 months ago but instead had waited "until the last minute" to delay the mine.

Adani Australia head of mining Llewellyn Lezar told the court the company had already spent $1.4 billion on the mine and had approved millions more. 

Mr Lezar said the injunction did not put the mine itself at risk, but could cause significant delays. Mr O'Shea said an injunction could potentially stop development until the trial and appeal process was complete.

Barrister for the W&J people, Stephen Keim, said the injunction should continue as the group questioned the legitimacy of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Adani.

The court heard the W&J native title claim covers more than 27,000sq km. The area that would be impacted under the agreement with Adani is less than 0.001 per cent.

The court reserved its decision.

Topics:  adani adani carmichael coal mine federal court native title wangan and jagalingou

News Corp Australia

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