Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images and voices of people who have died.

Strategic Indigenous Water Reserve Steering Group

In 2012 the Indigenous Water Policy Group (IWPG) convened a Strategic Indigenous Reserve* (SIR) Steering Group to discuss broad policy development of Indigenous water allocations (SIR) in north Australian water plans. The Steering Group is made up of prominent Indigenous leaders from north Australia and leading water and legal research advisors.

The development of the SIR Steering Group was a pragmatic response to government water reform policies to ensure the economic opportunity of an SIR is considered in the development of water plans in north Australia and is in line with the NAILSMA Water Policy Statement that says:

‘Any water plan in tropical Australia must, irrespective of historical allocation, include an equitable Indigenous allocation from the consumptive pool for commercial purposes.’

NAILSMA Water Policy Statement

The SIR Steering group has spent the last months considering policies to be included in relevant water reform frameworks through regular convened meetings and their development of an issues paper. The issues paper has been the précis for the development of local IWPG delivered SIR case studies that in turn have been used to inform local and northern policy development.

In July 2010, the SIR Steering Group met face to face to consider local SIR case study outcomes in context of broader policy framework and is now working on a developing an SIR Policy Paper.

A draft of the policy paper will be delivered to the NAILSMA IWPG later this year.

* Note: A Strategic Indigenous Reserve (SIR) is an amount of water set aside in a water allocation plan for Indigenous people in a water allocation plan area to support future water trading and economic development.