Today the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) representatives visited Parliament House to discuss the management in the Murray-Darling Basin. 

“The meeting was a good opportunity to hear about the group’s submission to the Water Act Review 2014, and to discuss cultural flows and future funding arrangements,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment. 

“It’s important that we hear from the full range of people with an interest in water across the basin, so that we fully understand the needs and perspectives of the entire community.

“I recognise the significant cultural and spiritual connection Aboriginal people have with water and the importance of them maintaining that connection.

“NBAN has an enduring desire to see cultural flows recognised as an entitlement in the Water Act so Aboriginal people can maintain this cultural connection to water. I’m pleased they’ve made a submission to the Water Act Review so it can be given consideration through the review process.” 

Senator Birmingham said he was also pleased to hear about the work the group and other.

Traditional Owners were doing with the Murray–Darling Basin Authority to help with the implementation of the Basin Plan and to define cultural flow requirements at a number of sites in the basin. 

“The Commonwealth is funding a number of trials of a new method called the Cultural Health Index this year in the northern and southern basin. These trials will help Aboriginal communities describe the cultural health of waterways. 

“The findings will help water planners better understand which sites Aboriginal people think are culturally important,” he said.

The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss funding of the group into the future. 

“Being a relatively new representative body, NBAN plays an important role in giving a voice to Aboriginal people in the northern basin. I’m very pleased the government can continue to support NBAN to the extent that we are able.”