Complaint to the Guardian
12 July 2021
Complaint to the Guardian
This statement can be attributed to an Bravus Mining & Resources spokesperson:
“Today we have written to The Guardian with a formal complaint regarding a story from their Australian outlet last week, where The Guardian disregarded and disrespected the voice of First Nations people by failing to contact registered native title Applicants for comment on the issues raised in the article.
“The story was titled “Drop in aquifer levels near Adani mine sparks concern for sacred wetlands’’ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/08/drop-in-aquifer-levels-near-adani-mine-sparks-concern-for-sacred-wetlands.
“Most concerningly, the story features quotes from one person of the Wangan and Jagalingou region. This person is not a registered native title Applicant. Not only did The Guardian not include a comment from the registered Native Title Applicants, they never contacted them to request a comment to ensure their views were appropriately represented.
“This is not the first time The Guardian has failed to contact the formal native title Applicants for comment, instead favouring the views of a small self-appointed group. This approach ultimately does not provide an honest, balanced or wholistic representation of views from the Clermont and Belyando People of the Wangan and Jagalingou region. To put it in perspective, there are hundreds of people in this Group, and to include the voice of only one, who is also not a registered native title Applicant, is misrepresentative.
“While we acknowledge that individual Wangan and Jagalingou community members may have their own personal views as to our operations, we continue to engage with those members who are formally appointed to represent their community; as we collectively discharge our responsibilities under our agreed and registered Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) and associated Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP).
“If members of the Wangan and Jagalingou community, such as the individual identified in the article, have concerns as to our operations then they should be directing these to their native title Applicant’s for consideration. It is clear from our ongoing engagement with the ILUA Implementation Committee and the Cultural Heritage Management Committee, that the views represented in the article do not represent those of the community appointed leaders and official spokespersons of the Clermont and Belyando People from the Wangan and Jagalingou region, the formal native title Applicants.
“Furthermore, this story included information which misleads the audience on Bravus Mining and Resources’ groundwater management practices regarding cultural heritage sites. The story leads with a line stating aquifer levels have dropped ‘significantly’ near the Carmichael coal mine and goes on to suggest that irreversible damage has been ‘locked in’ for sensitive wetlands. This is grossly misleading and inaccurate reporting, considering The Guardian had access to published groundwater monitoring data from our website, along with our own written response which shows that that the water levels at the Doongmabulla Springs remain in keeping with compliance requirements and are in a healthy state.
“It’s time for The Guardian Australia to be held to account for its reporting that ignores facts, relevant voices and creates bias by omission.
“At the time of publishing this media statement regarding this complaint we are yet to receive a response from The Guardian.”