Adani's deal with indigenous group questioned

NATIVE title workers have denied a central Queensland indigenous group's agreement with mining giant Adani was illegitimate due to the presence of people with traditionally Torres Strait Islander surnames.

The Wangan and Jagalingou people have taken Adani to Federal Court to try to get an Indigenous Land Use Agreement overturned.

They claim multiple people who were not W&J people voted at the meeting that authorised the agreement.

On Tuesday the court heard people with the traditionally Torres Strait family names Thaiday and Ahwang had attended the agreement meeting in April 2016.

But former Queensland South Native Title Service worker Andrew Faye told the court the person's surname was not relevant if they could prove descent from a W&J ancestor. Mr Faye said he also believed there was a Thaiday family in central Queensland.

Mr Faye told the court 474 people had pre-registered to attend the April 2016 meeting, "significantly" more than most W&J meetings.

But he said he more than 400 people had attended an October 2014 meeting also to authorise a deal with Adani.

"Yes, there were significantly more people who pre-registered to attend that meeting than other meetings I had been involved in for the W&J claim group," he said.

"I would say that is except for a prior ILUA meeting with Adani in October 2015. There were possibly 400-ish at that meeting too."

Mr Faye said at the 2016 meeting he challenged a small number of people he did not believe were eligible to attend the meeting.

The court heard the 2016 meeting was held at a time there was a significant internal dispute within W&J about whether they should deal with Adani.

The court on Monday heard W&J man Craig Dallen believed people who were members of other indigenous groups had attended and voted at the 2016 meeting to authorise the agreement with Adani.

Mr Faye said people could not simply identify as a W&J member but had to have a genealogical connection to a W&J ancestor.

"The question is largely genealogical. Membership of the group was via descent, not via a history of attending meetings," he said.

The hearing is expected to conclude on Wednesday. -NewsRegional

Topics:  adani carmichael coal mine federal court indigenous land use agreement queensland south native title service

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