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Anxious wait in legal battle against Adani

People came out of the woodwork to vote on Adani's proposed mine but no proper checks ensured they were entitled to have a say.

That's what a small group opposed to the controversial Carmichael coal mine claim happened when Wangan and Jagalingou people voted on a land use agreement with the mining giant in 2016.

Now they face an anxious wait to hear from the Full Court of the Federal Court, which reserved a decision in the group's appeal against the mine on Tuesday.

The group of five W&J people, including activist Adrian Burragubba, allege the process of checking whether those who voted in an Indigenous Land Use Agreement had legitimate native title claims "lacked rigour".

The agreement, which Adani requires to develop the mine, extinguished the group's land rights.

They have appealed that decision, with their barrister Stephen Keim SC this week providing examples of what he said were lax processes in identifying a group of unregistered people who turned up to meetings.

On Monday, Mr Keim said a man asking whether a list of people was "hunky dory" and elders doing the work of anthropologists were not reasonable efforts of verification.

Mr Keim said his clients contended checks did not take place as required by law.

Justice Steven Rares made the point to Mr Keim that "the fact is, your clients knew all about" the meetings but they did not turn up.

On Tuesday, the parties considered a complex administrative issue brought up in submissions from Adani, which could have seen the appeal thrown out.

But the hearing carried on with submissions from the Queensland South Native Title Services and the Native Title Registrar, who are also parties in the case.

Outside court, the traditional owners said they feared land in central Queensland could be handed over to the mining giant before their court battle was over following fallout from the May 18 federal election.

The coalition win put the Queensland Labor government under pressure to act on the mine proposal, resulting in Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing a mid-June deadline for the completion of two outstanding state environmental approvals.

Adani Mining says the W&J people "voted 294 to one" in 2016 in favour of the ILUA for the Carmichael Project.

"This continuing court action has been pursued by a very small minority of the W&J people," Adani said in a statement.

"The majority of W&J people support the development of the mine and the vote to accept the ILUA reflected this."

© AAP 2019