First Nations people have long called for stable and ongoing water holding arrangements.
Currently, First Nations people hold rights to about 40% of Australian land through native title. Yet they own and control less than 0.2% of our water.
We will work with First Nations people across Australia to develop water holding arrangements that can support cultural, spiritual, environmental, economic, and social outcomes.
The government has not yet designed potential water holding arrangements. It has made $9.2 million available to consult with First Nations peoples nationally on the best way to hold and manage water entitlements for the benefit of all First Nations people. This will provide an opportunity for First Nations people across the country to have a say about how their water is held and managed, what arrangements will look like and how it will work.
The Committee on Aboriginal Water Interests is a key body to ensure First Nations voices are reflected in national water reform. It will play a central role in developing options for water holding arrangements.
We have established a First Nations Water Branch to consult on potential water holding arrangements. First Nations people will play a key role in developing the next steps and in informing decisions of government.
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