First Nations and water

Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a significant and deep connection to land and waters.

With this comes a wealth of cultural knowledge that can be used to better protect and manage natural resources. Therefore, it is vital that cultural knowledge, as well as cultural, environmental, and economic values and aspirations of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples are incorporated into water plans.

The current water plan includes outcomes for supporting water-related cultural values and to support the economic and social aspirations of First Nations peoples. However, the latest Minister’s performance assessment report (PDF, 2.6MB) highlighted that we need to do more work to better understand the local cultural values that relate to water in the Gulf so we can cater for them.

During the water plan review, we will be engaging with First Nations peoples to ensure we have a better understanding of cultural water needs, social and economic aspirations. This will result in dedicated cultural outcomes in the new water plan and inform the settings for future Indigenous unallocated water reserves.

What do you think?

  • How is water significant to your culture and cultural practices?
  • What do you see happening on your Country that is impacting on your cultural and social practices?
  • How would you address these issues?
  • Can you give specific examples of economic opportunities for First Nations peoples that could be provided through access to water?

Tell us in your submission.

Last updated: 15 Mar 2024