Water Journal : Water Journal July 2012
48 JULY 2012 water feature articles interview A: What was the background to the Summit? P: Water is a critical human need. Water is fundamental to our development and to addressing the unacceptable level of disadvantage that we experience in contemporary Australian society. With water reform across the country and within the jurisdictions, there is the opportunity for the development of more effective water policies that will achieve positive outcomes for Aboriginal Australians. The National Water Initiative clearly states that Indigenous water needs should be recognised in relation to water access, planning and management. The First Peoples' Water Engagement Council (FPWEC) was formed in 2010 to provide advice to the National Water Commission on national Indigenous water issues. For the past two years we have worked to strengthen relationships and communication among different Aboriginal organisations involved in freshwater management across Australia and raise the profile of Aboriginal interests in water and water planning in Australia. One of the key aims of the Summit was to inform and strengthen the FPWEC's final advice to the National Water Commission, presented on 30 May 2012. A copy of FPWEC's advice to the Commission is available at http://nwc.gov.au/ planning/fpwec The Summit also provided a platform for the work that is being done all across the country. It brought together Aboriginal delegates from all corners of Australia, as well as key stakeholders including State and Federal water agencies, the National Farmers Federation, representatives of irrigators, CMAs, environment groups, and AWA and other industry associations. Over 70 Aboriginal delegates from across Australia met in Adelaide for the First Peoples' National Water Summit convened by the First Peoples' Water Engagement Council (FPWEC) on 29 and 30 March 2012. The FPWEC was formed in 2010 to provide advice to the National Water Commission (NWC) on national Indigenous water issues. The Summit provided an opportunity for delegates to discuss Indigenous interests in the management of water at the national level in Australia and to formulate recommendations to inform and amend government policy. While the perspectives of the delegates were diverse, they agreed on the importance of addressing Indigenous peoples' water requirements and the active participation of Aboriginal people at all levels of water planning and management. The second day of the Summit was an open session, where delegates presented these perspectives to policy makers and key stakeholders, including AWA. Here, Ann Hinchliffe, AWA Project Manager, talks to Phil Duncan, Chair of the First Peoples' Water Engagement Council, about the key objectives and outcomes arising from the Summit, and what the Council perceives to be the way forward. AWA Meets Phil Duncan Phil Duncan, Chair of the First Peoples' Water Engagement Council. From left: Brian Wyatt (CEO NNT and FPWEC Member), Geoff Scott (CEO NSWALC), Brad Moggridge (CSIRO and FPWEC Member), Joe Morrison (Summit Facilitator), Les Malezer (Co Chair First Peoples' National Congress) and Neva Collins (Indigenous Independent Panel Member).
Water Journal August 2012
Water Journal May 2012