An amendment to national environment laws passed the federal parliament last week in an historic day for the Northern Territory and in particular the Big Rivers Region.
The new laws update the 'water trigger' under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act - the legislation that protects the environment in Australia - so new unconventional gas projects, like shale gas, will be assessed for their impact on water resources.
At the last election Marion Scrymgour promised to fight for these changes to better protect the Territory's water resources.
The Member for Lingiari now said the amendment of the legislation was a "common-sense change", which would provide businesses with certainty and the community with confidence that water resources and the environment were "properly regulated and protected".
"Water is sacred," Ms Scrymgour said. "There is nothing more important to people and communities than proper protection and regulation of our precious environment and water."
"The amendments ... mean unconventional gas projects, such as fracking to extract shale gas, will not be approved unless proponents can demonstrate the sustainability of water usage."
Ms Scrymgour said while she was a big supporter of job creation and new industries, she did not want to see the NT's water supply and environment put at risk for it, "because that's what sustains us".
Earlier this year, traditional owners, elders and young leaders from Mataranka and Elliot travelled to Canberra and Sydney to voice their concerns about their region's Water Allocation Plan and the use of their water for fracking.
The delegates particularly asked for the water trigger to be applied to shale gas fracking, requiring water licences to fracking companies to have an extra layer of independent scrutiny.
The delegation also asked that the Federal Minister for the Environment must consider the licences, and take into consideration Aboriginal cultural heritage related to water.
"Our soaks and waterways hold our knowledge and song," Cecelia Lake from Jilkminggan said at the time. "If we lose them, we lose our culture."
Another Jilkminggan local, Anne Marie Woods, said her people were worried about what could happen to the region's water.
"We see our springs going down, our floodplains are not filling like they used to," she said.
"I want to be able to take my children onto country and teach them like my mother did for me.
"Our water is our life and our culture. It is our food. It cools country down. We can't waste it or poison it."
The group of delegates, together with community groups and Traditional Owners said the expansion of the water trigger would add a much needed layer of additional scrutiny and transparency on the numerous fracking projects planned for the Northern Territory's Roper-Gulf and Barkly regions, WA's Kimberley, and Queensland's Lake Eyre Basin.
Mudburra Elder Ray Dimakarri Dixon, from Marlinja Community at Newcastle Waters said locals had been standing up for water and the environment "for so long".
"We are doing this for our country, our past leaders and future generations," he said.
"This is the biggest thing in my life. Water keeps our language, our culture, and our identity strong. It connects all Indigenous people.
"We want to thank all environmental groups for their support. The fight hasn't gone away but I feel emotional and happy in my spirit.
"Our young people can learn from this moment."
The group welcomed the water trigger, but shared ongoing concern about the size of water allocation plans.
"This is a great step forward, (and) it is critical that the Federal Government assume oversight of Northern Territory water policy," Protect Big River secretary Samantha Phelan said.
"What's also really important now is for the Federal Government to enable application of the water trigger to protect cultural heritage.
"We recognise this decision does not protect us from over-extraction by cotton and other industries, (but) we will continue to work with the Federal Government to protect our precious rivers, springs, and soaks across the Territory."