Jon Altman19.02.2009

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Jon Altman on Water Licenses and Allocations, Indigenous Water Planning Forum, National Water Commission, February 2009

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Jon Altman19.02.2009

  1. 1. Water licences and allocations to Indigenous people: An Australia-wide scoping exercise Jon Altman & Bill Arthur Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  2. 2. <ul><li>Aims: </li></ul><ul><li>Others have looked at legal and planning frameworks </li></ul><ul><li>We looked to quantify allocations, operating in a data poor environment </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on Indigenous businesses which use water for commercial purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Contacted state and territory water authorities to check what licences have been issued to Indigenous parties </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Methods: </li></ul><ul><li>We found that non-one had the statutory responsibility to monitor Indigenous commercial use of water </li></ul><ul><li>We distributed questionnaires to lead Indigenous agencies and developed an inclusive list </li></ul><ul><li>We culled this list after consultation with NWC </li></ul><ul><li>We sent the list to each state and territory water authority to see if they could assist in developing a list of commercial water users </li></ul><ul><li>Most were as helpful as possible, some quite proactive </li></ul>
  4. 4. Estimate of Indigenous users of water for commercial purposes Notes: a) As noted in the text this total tended to represent all of the Indigenous entities and programs that might conceivably use water; i.e. it was compiled to be as inclusive as possible. b) Excludes Goulburn Murray Water region.
  5. 5. <ul><li>Findings: </li></ul><ul><li>Licences issued < potential users identified </li></ul><ul><li>Enormous variation by states and territories; 75% of identified licences in NSW </li></ul><ul><li>In some jurisdictions commercial entities did not need licences </li></ul><ul><li>There was little link between columns A, B and C </li></ul><ul><li>Enormous variation in capacity to respond state-by-state given the blank slate and absence of clear mandate to collect such data </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Discussion topics: </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of Indigenous commercial water use </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of Indigenous water licence allocations </li></ul><ul><li>Water and Indigenous enterprise development </li></ul><ul><li>Water and ‘Closing the Gap’ </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous economic development and water </li></ul><ul><li>The way ahead: Water as property </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Next steps: </li></ul><ul><li>We have provided some data as a tentative first step </li></ul><ul><li>It looks like progress could be made, especially if the local knowledge of water authorities is used </li></ul><ul><li>Is an Indigenous water register necessary or desirable? Will it assist to generate an Indigenous business register or vice versa re HRSCATSIA? </li></ul><ul><li>If so, to answer what questions, NWI requirements aside? </li></ul><ul><li>For active engagements in water planning purposes? </li></ul>

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