Aboriginal communities invited to have their say on water

Aboriginal communities invited to have their say on water

Aboriginal communities are being encouraged to have their say on the draft Aboriginal Water Strategy, a landmark first for the state that will strengthen and empower Aboriginal voices in matters relating to water across NSW.

The Strategy aims to ensure Aboriginal people are involved in the decision making, planning and management of our most precious resource, providing them with greater ownership and better access to water for cultural and economic purposes.

The draft objectives and actions were developed over five years through a series of targeted consultations, workshops, and interviews that involved Aboriginal community members, Traditional Owners and Custodians, and NSW Government departments.

In addition, 11 Aboriginal peak bodies along with 14 NSW Regional Aboriginal Water Committees were also involved in developing the draft concepts.

We are now seeking feedback at a range of engagement workshops both in person and online to ensure the actions and commitments made during the early development phase have been properly reflected.

Workshops will be held in each of these locations between 10am – 2pm:


  • 23 July: Albury, Bourke, Lismore, Toomelah
  • 24 July: Ballina, Brewarrina, Deniliquin, Mungindi
  • 25 July: Byron Bay, Moree, Narrandera, Walgett
  • 26 July: Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga
  • 30 July: Griffith, Lake Cargelligo, Newcastle, Narromine, Port Macquarie
  • 31 July: Condobolin, Forster, Hay, Kempsey, Warren


  • 1 August: Balranald, Coonamble, Cowra, Grafton, Port Stephens,
  • 2 August: Coffs Harbour, Maitland, Bathurst, Coomealla (Dareton), Dubbo
  • 6 August: Cobar, Eden, Inverell, Yamba
  • 7 August: Armidale, Evans Head, Narooma, Wilcannia
  • 8 August: Casino, Menindee, Nowra, Tamworth
  • 9 August: Broken Hill, Gunnedah, Kyogle, Wollongong,
  • 13 August: Redfern
  • 14 August: Blacktown

There will also be online workshops for the general public, Aboriginal Peak organisations and government departments between 13-15 August.

Feedback can also be given through a written submission or by completing an online survey via our website.

To learn more about the strategy, find out where the workshops are being held and to register, please visit: https://water.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal-water-strategy

It is a key initiative of the NSW Water Strategy to ensure improved access to water for Aboriginal communities.

NSW DCCEEW Executive Director of Regional Water Strategies, Kaia Hodge, said:  

“Aboriginal people have deep cultural and social connections to water, which plays a key role in their caring for Country, which is why we are committed to acknowledging Aboriginal rights and interests in water, through a genuine partnership.

“Since 2018, we’ve held 150 workshops, 300 interviews, 50 meetings and informal discussions with Aboriginal communities, Traditional Owners and representative organisations to capture a wide range of views.

“Through this, we’ve been able to draw on unique insights and water knowledge to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people and to help create job opportunities across the state.

“We’ve partnered with Aboriginal People to develop a draft Aboriginal Water Strategy to support the delivery of the best possible outcomes for communities and recognise the diverse cultural values of Aboriginal people in a meaningful way.

“The NSW Government recognises the importance of continuing to work hard on building and maintaining respectful, trusted and collaborative relationships with Aboriginal communities and stakeholders.”

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