"Water management in the Northern Territory just keeps making headlines. The
recent decision to grant an unprecedentedly large groundwater licence is a case
The licence, granted to Fortune Agribusiness at Singleton Station, threatens
springs and sacred sites near Alice Springs, and Aboriginal people, who are the
custodians of these places, say they “are not being listened to”.
These media stories point to a wider problem with water law and water
management in the Northern Territory. New legislation passed just this month is
set to make it worse.
Under the cover of responding to a COVID-induced economic slowdown, the
Northern Territory government is set to undermine hard-won national standards
of water governance. This includes one of the most important advances in
Indigenous water rights: the reservation of water for Aboriginal land owners to
use or trade.
The Northern Land Council called the water law reforms a “betrayal of the
interests of all Territorians”.
With even more regressive reforms on the books, the future of the NT’s water is
looking more like its frontier past."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics