The Santos group wants to extract gas on the north coast of Australia. However, he did not count the Munupi from the Tiwi Islands. The tribal elder files a lawsuit and wins. However, Santos is not yet defeated.

Indigenous people have won a legal battle against the development of a gas field in the Timor Sea on Australia’s north coast. Australia’s federal court dismissed oil and gas company Santos’ appeal against an earlier ruling in favor of the Munupi tribe. The interests of the indigenous people are affected by the gas project and have not been adequately taken into account so far.

The Munupi live on the Tiwi Islands in the Timor Sea, a tributary of the Indian Ocean. Tribal elder Dennis Tipakalippa had filed a lawsuit against Santos, arguing that developing the gas field could destroy important marine food sources and disrupt his tribe’s connection to a spiritually significant area.

In September, a court overturned the environmental permit for the gas company’s project on the grounds that indigenous communities had not been properly consulted. The federal court has now confirmed this. “Santos and all other gas companies need to take note of this,” Tipakalippa said. “We have fought to protect our sea country from beginning to end and we will never stop fighting.”

However, it is not certain that the court decision will be sufficient to finally stop the project. The Santos Group stated that it did not want to give up the project and continued to assume that the gas field would be developed by 2025. He wants to restart the approval process.