In a landmark hearing, Federal Court Justice Mordecai Bromberg, has ruled Santos failed to consult with Traditional Owners over its Barossa gas project.
As a result Santos’ approval for the project from the offshore regulator, NOPSEMA, has been ruled invalid and it must stop drilling in the region.
The following lines are attributable to Yamatji-Noongar Senator Dorinda Cox, the Greens spokesperson for resources:
“Today’s ruling shows mining companies and governments can’t be trusted to do the right thing without legislative pressure. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) clearly states that free, prior and informed consent is a human right. We need to fast-track the Private Senator’s Bill for UNDRIP and its implementation in our laws, policies and practice.
“This judgement sets the standard for consultation with Traditional Owners. If Labor wants to talk about recognising First Nations people, they must start with their own departments.
“It is great to see the courts acknowledge the importance of Sea Country to First Nations peoples culture and way of life.
“The regulator has clearly failed the Munupi people. NOPSEMA has not only ignored its responsibility to First Nations peoples, but all Australians. There needs to be a full investigation into previous decisions it has made around adequate consultation with Traditional Owners.
“If Labor wants to meet their own emissions target, we cannot keep opening up new coal and gas, especially on the back of ruining First Nations cultural heritage.”