Aboriginal landowners score water allocation

WATER RESERVES: Marley Djangirr, a ranger at the billabong near Murwangi station. Photo: Peter Hannam.
WATER RESERVES: Marley Djangirr, a ranger at the billabong near Murwangi station. Photo: Peter Hannam.

The NT Government has released a new policy which allows Aboriginal landowners to better develop their land. 

Environment minister Lauren Moss said the Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserves policy guarantees Aboriginal Territorians have a real say in water allocation that affects their interests.

A Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve is a volume of water within a Water Allocation Plan area, set aside for exclusive use or trade by Aboriginal landowners.

“We went to the election with a promise to reinstate Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserves after they were scrapped by the CLP and we have fulfilled that promise,” Ms Moss said.

“This policy ensures water allocation plans make provision for water based Aboriginal economic development and job creation on country.”

The policy will ensure water is reserved for future Aboriginal economic development and enterprise and seeks to redress concerns that Aboriginal Territorians are missing out on beneficial, economic outcomes on their land.

An evaluation of the implementation of the Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserves policy will be carried out after two years to assess its effectiveness and the social and economic impact.

“I thank the key stakeholders, public servants and members of the public who participated in the consultations and have helped shape this vital policy,” Ms Moss said.

To read the policy head here.