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National Water Reform

The Government's National Water Initiative (2004) builds on the framework developed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) national water reform (1994) that recognised the need for water resource management to be consistent across Australia.

To speed up this plan, the Government has since formed a National Plan for Water Security (2007) that provided for the formation of the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce. The Taskforce, which was chaired by Bunuba leader Joe Ross, examined the potential for new developments in north Australia that rely on significant local or regional water resources and consulted with stakeholders in the north to identify opportunities for further development. A final report on the findings of the Taskforce was released February 2010.

This initiative has informed the development of the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum and associated Northern Australia Indigenous Experts Forum on Sustainable Economic Development.

The Taskforce was under the auspice of the Office of Northern Australia. This Office was established under the former Rudd Labor Government to ensure that the top end of Australia shares in national prosperity and to facilitate the provision of high level policy advice on sustainable development issues affecting north Australia.

In addition to this Office, the Australian Government is delivering a program called the Northern Australia Water Futures Assessment. This program is delivered by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the National Water Commission to provide an enduring knowledge base to inform decisions about development of north Australia's water resources, so that any development proceeds in an ecologically, culturally and economically sustainable manner.

Want to know more?

Go to other relevant websites:

National Water Initiative (2004)

National Water Commission

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Council of Australian Governments (COAG)

Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce and Final report

Northern Australia Ministerial Forum

Northern Australia Indigenous Experts Forum on Sustainable Economic Development

Office of Northern Australia

Northern Australia Water Futures Assessment