Meetings hear traditional links
Traditional owners have met with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.
The historic meeting is seen as a sign for some that Indigenous groups are being properly considered custodians of the vital resource.
Traditional owners from across the southern part of the Murray-Darling Basin met with government authorities to discuss the management of environmental flows in the basin for the next 12 months.
“The Murray River is really concerning for us at the moment because it's being used as an irrigation channel and water isn't able to spread out into country — what we classify as living organs of country,” Tatti Tatti man Brendan Kennedy told reporters.
“These these lakes, lagoons and wetlands are all the organs of our ancestral being; the kidneys, the liver, the bowel.
“Every traditional owner has all of these organs that need water because water is the same as blood. So, if you cut off the body parts you are killing the ancestral being which is our country, and it is the same as us with people."
“There is a direct correlation between the lack of water in our waterways to the actual health of our Aboriginal people.”
Acting assistant secretary Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, Hilary Johnson, said positive actions had already been identified.
“So one of the key things that has come out of this is a couple of statements that we are going to be including in our planning documents,” Mr Johnson said.
“We've also tried to map out a pathway to be able to continue working together over the next 12 months, and how we can develop ongoing partnerships, particular for environmental water.
“We want to work with First Nations to maximise the outcome for that piece of water.”
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder is holding more meetings next week with the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations in attendance.