From the Women's Climate Congress:
Presenting evidence of First Nations climate impacts on country.
The case of the Waratah Coal mine, climate & human rights. Part Two
This is the second part about the Youth Verdict win. In a recent historic ruling The Queensland Land Court rejected Clive Palmer's proposed coal mine on the Bimblebox Nature Reserve.
This ground breaking case was a test for Queensland’s new human rights act. Hear how the case was framed as a First Nations case, presenting evidence of First nations Impacts on country by inviting the court onto country.
Alison Rose, Patricia Julien, Lala Gutchen, and Murrawah Johnson are in conversation with Womens Climate Congress Founder, Dr. Janet Salisbury.
Alison Rose is a Solicitor within the Safe Climate (Coal and Human Rights) team working on ground-breaking climate litigation at the Environmental Defenders Office Ltd (EDO). She was the lead solicitor for the Waratah Coal Mine case. Alison is also a member of the Women’s Climate Congress Steering Circle (aka Board).
Patricia Julien is the Secretary for The Bimblebox Alliance (TBA) and part of the legal communications team for the Alliance with EDO. She has a background in physical geography, microclimatology, rangeland hydrology & ecology, and was formerly the Coordinator of Mackay Conservation Group where she prepared submissions on the environmental impacts of coal mining, and regional and coastal planning and development policies.
Lala Gutchen is an Erub Meuram Woman from Erub Island, Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait) where the rising sea is eating away at her villages and sacred sites. She was one of the witnesses in the case against the Waratah Mine. In a historic first, Lala gave evidence on Country in accordance with their traditional protocols. Judge Kingham and the legal counsel travelled to the Erub Meuram tribal waters and visited Merad Sand Kay (also known as Underdown Island) with Traditional Owners who showed them how climate change has directly harmed their Country. Lala is also a strong advocate for Erub Mer language and has been recognised as a Young Champion by First Language Australia.
Murrawah Johnson is the First Nations program lead for Youth Verdict. She is a Wirdi woman from North and Central Queensland, where the Wiri/Wirdi language dialect ties to the broader Birri Gubba Nation. Murrawah also has ties to Kangalou, Kullilli, Iman, Mununjali, and Bigambul Peoples. She holds ties to Wangan and Jagalingou country as a Wirdi Traditional Owner, and has worked on Aboriginal rights litigation in the Federal Court and Supreme Court of Queensland; lobbying State and Federal governments, and international financial corporations; submits to UN agencies and rapporteurs on human rights breaches; and building research and policy agendas. She also works on community-level Indigenous and climate justice strategies; and has facilitated First Nations solidarities in CANZUS countries.
*In memory of Emeritus Professor Will Steffen (1947–29 Jan 2023), whose scientific evidence to the Land Court was so influential
Earth Matters #1396 was produced by Bec Horridge
Megan Williams, Bec Horridge, Nicky Stott, Eiddwen Jeffery, Judith Peppard & Jacob Gamble.