Indigenous Australian clan wins historic legal victory over Santos energy project

SYDNEY—A native clan on remote islands in northern Australia has won a legal victory over the energy giant Santos Ltd., in a case that could have a significant impact on how resource companies handle their relationships with traditional landowners.

An Australian judge on Wednesday rejected a regulator’s approval of Santos’ environmental plan to drill natural gas in the Barossa gas field, about 85 miles off the coast of the Tiwi Islands near Darwin. The case was brought by Dennis Tipakalippa, an indigenous chief on the islands who argued that the regulator should not have approved the drilling because Santos had not properly consulted with his clan about its impact.


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