Two Aboriginal Waterways Assessments (AWAs) have now been completed in Queensland as part of an initiative to increase Traditional Owners’ participation in water planning and management in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin.
“The index was adapted by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the two peak representative bodies for Aboriginal Nations in the Murray-Darling Basin.”
Githabul Traditional Owners and Kunja Traditional Owners and Knowledge Holders worked with the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations and South West NRM to complete the Aboriginal Waterways Assessments.
Eleven culturally important sites, chosen by Githabul Traditional Owners, were assessed along the Condamine River in the Warwick area.
A further eight culturally important sites, chosen by the Kunja Traditional Owners and Knowledge Holders, were assessed along the Lower Warrego River in the Cunnamulla area.
The Minister says these two waterway assessments were part of a program of six AWAs planned for the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin under this initiative.
Kunja Traditional Owners Maureen McKellar and Jackie McKellar-Garrett say Traditional Owners and knowledge holders recently undertook a waterways assessment along the Warrego River, South West Queensland.
Keely Hooper-Monaghan, 20, of Cunnamulla and Reece McDermott, 17, of Toowoomba were among the participants.
“It is a different learning experience that I have not had before and would like to come out again, I am so proud to be a Kunja person and found that everything I learnt is so interesting.”
Githabul Traditional Owners, Delphine Charles and Melissa Chalmers say that among other things, the information can be used to help improve the condition of sites that are important to us.
“For example, the information can assist with any future funding applications we make for projects like streambank stabilisation or revegetation. The health of our waterways is important not only for the overall environment, but also for the cultural, spiritual and ceremonial practices of Traditional Owners.”
Future Aboriginal Waterways Assessments are being planned in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin and will be undertaken throughout the rest of 2018.