Water Journal : Water Journal July 2012
refereed paper community issues Australia, the National Water Initiative requires the identification of cultural and spiritual values for water quality and natural resource agencies are required to take Aboriginal cultural heritage into consideration when making statutory water management decisions (Duncan, 2011). Indigenous involvement in natural resource management of their traditional lands can only enhance this process. Conclusion The need to implement the vegetation management aspects of legally binding Cultural Heritage Agreements with two traditional owner groups was the trigger for developing the vegetation management agreements discussed in this paper. Difficulties in implementing the vegetation management and training aspects of the CHAs forced the Council and traditional owners to explore their individual objectives and also the gaps in what each organisation could offer. This allowed the barriers to be turned into opportunities. The partners negotiated in good faith, with a strong commitment to success. With the assistance of sound legal advice and the experience of Terrain, with respect to indigenous capacity building and vegetation management, the vegetation management agreements were developed. A significant benefit of the partnerships is that it has allowed the Council to focus its resources on operating and maintaining the water supply infrastructure. At the same time, the Council can have the confidence that the sensitive natural environment within the infrastructure footprint is being managed to ensure environmental and cultural heritage obligations are being met. Through the partnership model described, Cairns Regional Council has achieved sound economic, social and environmental outcomes for the management of vegetation within three of its drinking water infrastructure footprints. The model assists traditional owners to acquire project management and reporting skills that should, in the future, allow them to provide these services directly to Government and industry. This community development objective is a key aspect of the model described in this paper. The model could easily be adopted by other water services providers and, in fact, any industry required to manage natural areas. Acknowledgement The authors sincerely acknowledge the contributions of: Ngadjon-Jii and Wanyurr Majay traditional owners; Terrain; Preston Law; and other Cairns Regional Council staff in the development of the Vegetation Management Agreements. Without the open and frank discussons between all parties, the Agreements would not have been possible. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors. This paper was awarded 'Best Paper' at Ozwater'12 in May. The Authors Lynne Powell (email: L.Powell@cairns.qld. gov.au) is Sustainability Co-ordinator, Water and Waste, with Cairns Regional Council, Cairns, Queensland. Denney Phillips (email: email@example.com. au) is Water Services Co- ordinator, Water and Waste, also with Cairns Regional Council. References Castro A & Nielsen E (2001): Indigenous people and co-management: implications for conflict management. Environmental Science and Policy 4: pp 229--239. Duncan P (2011): The Right to a Fair Share. Water Journal, 38: pp 40--42. Jackson S, Storrs M & Morrison J (2005): Recognition of Aboriginal rights, interests and values in river research and management: Persectives from northern Australia. Ecological Management and Restoration, 6: pp 105--110. Natcher D & Hickey C (2002): Putting the community back into community-based resource management: A criteria and indicators approach to sustainability. Human Organisation, 61: pp 350--363. Native Title Tribunal (2007): File No.: QI2006/024, Eastern Kuku Yalanji & Douglas Shire Council -- Local Government Agreement Indigenous Land Use Agreement. Plummer R & Fitzgibbon J (2004a): Co-management of natural resources: A proposed framework. Environmental Management, 33: pp 876--885. Plummer R & Fitzgibbon J (2004b): Some observations on the terminology in co-operative environmental management. Journal of Environmental Management, 70: pp 63--72. Postel S & Thompson Jr B (2005): Watershed protection: Capturing the benefits of nature's water supply services. Natural Resource Forum, 29: pp 98--108. Ross A & Pickering K (2002): The politics of reintegrating Australian Aboriginal and American Indian Indigenous knowledge into resource management: The dynamics of resource appropriation and cultural revival. Human Ecology, 30: pp 187--213. Wet Tropics Management Authority (2005): Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area Regional Agreement. 52pp. Delivering innovative water, wastewater and reuse solutions.
Water Journal August 2012
Water Journal May 2012