Indigenous Water Advisory Committee Meetings
The Indigenous Water Advisory Committee met for the first time in October 2012. In this meeting, discussion focused on the committee's roles and responsibilities and committee operations.
At this meeting the committee provided preliminary advice to the department on:
- A module on Indigenous engagement in water planning being developed jointly with state and territory governments. When approved, the module will supplement the NWI Policy Guidelines for Water Planning and Management.
- The enhanced water reform agenda, being developed by the COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water.
- The national wetlands policy statement, being developed by the Wetlands and Waterbirds Taskforce (a sub-group of the Standing Council on Environment and Water) to enhance cooperation and collaboration on national wetland planning and management in Australia.
Other issues discussed by the committee included:
- Aboriginal water, including considerations in Aboriginal cultural and economic water needs;
- the National Water Account, presented by the Bureau of Meteorology; and
- the National Water Commission work plan.
A representative from the Office of Water Science presented information on the National Partnership Agreement on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development, the Independent Expert Scientific Committee, and the Australian Government's water resources related research priorities as they relate to coal seam gas and large coal mining activities.
The committee also met with the new Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Mr David Papps.
At this meeting the Committee discussed:
- progress of the module on Indigenous engagement in water planning and management;
- progress of the national wetlands policy statement;
- the National Water Commission’s Indigenous Stocktake project, which identified and assessed how well current water planning and management arrangements meet the needs of Indigenous peoples;
- the Department's Office of Water Science Bioregional Assessments Programme;
- the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Water Account for the Daly River Region; and
- the work the Office of Northern Australia conducts as part of the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport.
This was the final meeting for the Committee. Two substantive items were discussed:
- the complete first draft of the module on Indigenous engagement for water planning and management; and
- Indigenous engagement options and issues for consideration as part of the statutory review of the Water Act (Cth) 2007.