This landmark win for the Munupi Nation today sets a new precedent for consultation with Traditional Owners for offshore gas projects.
As stated by Greens spokesperson for resources and Yamatji-Noongar Woman Senator Dorinda Cox:
“I want to congratulate Dennis Tipakalippa and the Munupi Traditional Owners for protecting their Country and Sea Country.
“Today we have seen cultural giants defeat a billion dollar company.
“The fact that Santos didn’t consider the Munupi people relevant is appalling and I’m happy to hear the court has upheld its decision.
“The government must respect the court’s views on this matter, acknowledging traditional owners as relevant peoples, and not intervene.
“This landmark ruling has serious implications for current and future offshore gas projects. The Scarborough, Pluto 2, Barossa, Browse and Golden Beach projects must ensure they have received free, prior and informed consent or they will face the same consequences.
“This ruling underscores how important it is to put legal protections around First Nations peoples human rights. We need to fast-track the Private Senator’s Bill for The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP).
“If Labor wants to meet their own emissions targets like Minister Bowen stated yesterday, we cannot keep opening up new coal and gas projects which have no part to play in a green future.
“In the same vein, if Labor wants to claim they care about First Nations cultural heritage as stated by Minister Plibersek last week, they need to review all of NOPSEMA’s previous decisions to ensure such glaring omissions haven’t been swept under the rug. The Munupi people shouldn’t have had to go to such lengths to prove their connection to Country.”