Mine or Yours?: The Sites of Struggle at the Carmichael Coal Mine in Queensland, Australia

Mr Michael Rupic1

1University of Hawai’i, Honolulu, United States of America


The Carmichael Coal Mine in Queensland, Australia is a case study on the issue of the violation of native title claims as a result of the transnationalization of the coal mining industry. India’s Adani Group has proposed an integrated project involving a coal mine, a railway system, and a shipping port, which would allow for both the extraction and the exportation of coal. Controversy surrounds the mine for several reasons, including the impending displacement of indigenous individuals/communities from their homelands. I will answer the following research question: How does the prospective violation of native title claims impact indigenous individuals’ identities and/or senses of belonging in a contested landscape? The paper will examine the extent to which state/federal governments have taken into account indigenous rights during the decision-making process for a large-scale mining development. The research focuses on the phases of approval for the proposed mine—a significant development that has challenged the native title system in Australia. The study will assess the degree to which the rights of Wangan and Jagalingou—the traditional owners that possess a native title claim over the region—have been upheld by employing theoretical frameworks such as political economy/ecology to provide insight into the implications of resource exploitation.


Michael Rupic (rupic@hawaii.edu) is a geographer who is  integrating the fields of human geography and physical geography. Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography & Environmental Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Michael is interested in human-environment interactions in the context of development, environment, and mining. Currently, Michael is pursuing a Master of Arts (MA) in Geography & Environment at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Michael is conducting fieldwork towards the completion of a thesis entitled “Coalrush: The (Re)Vitalization of an Industry at the Carmichael Coal Mine in Queensland, Australia.”

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