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Litigation in Australia: Aboriginal win against gas company

Status: 02.12.2022 12:35 pm

Gas company Santos wants to develop a gas field off the coast of Australia. However, the interests of the indigenous Munubi tribe were ignored in the project, a federal court ruled and revoked the permit.

In Australia, tribes have won a legal battle against the development of a gas field in the Timor Sea off the country’s northern coast. Australia’s Federal Court has appealed against an earlier ruling in favor of oil and gas company Santos Munubi.

The interests of the indigenous peoples have not been adequately taken into account in the gas project. The Munubi live on the Tiwi Islands in the Timor Sea, a tributary of the Indian Ocean.

Munubi: Gas field destroys vital food sources

Tribal elder Dennis Dipagalippa sued Santos. He says the development of the gas field is destroying vital food sources in the sea and could disrupt his tribe’s connection to the area of ​​spiritual significance. “We have fought to protect our maritime lands from beginning to end and we will never stop fighting,” Thibagalippa said.

In September, a court revoked the gas company’s environmental clearance for the project, saying it had not properly consulted tribal communities. This has now been confirmed by the Central Court.

However, the Santos group did not want to accept the decision without protest. He declared that he did not want to abandon the project. They continue to believe that the gas field can be built by 2025 and will start the approval process again now.