Trends in Aboriginal Water Ownership in New South Wales, Australia: The Continuities Between Colonial and Neoliberal Forms of Dispossession
Room 611, Level 6
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
Consistent with broader Indigenous claims for self-determination internationally in norms like the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), demand for greater Aboriginal ownership of and control over freshwater has grown immensely over the last twenty-plus years in Australia. Australian governments have at best, however, only offered constrained and limited responses to these demands leaving Aboriginal water justice claims unresolved and Aboriginal advocates and their supporters dissatisfied.
Responding to these community demands, poor government responses and gaps in research, Lana's doctoral research explores Aboriginal struggles for rights to access, use and benefit from freshwater in the context of deep reforms to water governance. In this seminar, Lana will present key findings on the access that Aboriginal organisations have to statutory water use entitlements in the NSW portion of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB).
Specifically, she will present evidence of the past decade of management of water entitlements by Aboriginal people to indicate a new wave of dispossession and to profile the distribution and uses of remaining Aboriginal-held entitlements. Lana’s work has important implications for state and federal policy and law reform processes currently underway in NSW, Victoria, and at the federal level, including recent commitments by state and federal governments to improve Aboriginal water access.
This seminar is a collaboration between the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law and the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School.
Ms Lana Hartwig, Australian Rivers Institute and School of Environment & Science, Griffith University
Ms Lana Hartwig
Australian Rivers Institute and School of Environment & Science, Griffith University
Lana Hartwig is a finalyear PhD student at Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute and School of Environment & Science in Queensland. Under the supervision of Professor Sue Jackson and Dr Natalie Osborne, Lana’s PhD research explores implications, challenges and opportunities from Australian water governance reforms for Aboriginal selfdetermination, particularly regarding water distribution in the context of water markets. While finishing her thesis Lana has been assisting the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) and their Traditional Owner member groups to provide advice about state governments’ Water Resource Plans to the MurrayDarling Basin Authority.