"A web of Aboriginal water rights: examining the competing Aboriginal claim for water property rights and interests in Australia"

Title

"A web of Aboriginal water rights: examining the competing Aboriginal claim for water property rights and interests in Australia"

Description

Dr Virginia Marshall's 2014 doctoral thesis is a recommended resource for researchers of water rights, particularly those of indigenous peoples. Marshall notes that an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) perspective on water differs fundamentally from the way that water has been constituted in Australian national water reforms as separable from land and governed by property rights.

By contrast, ATSI peoples do not see water and land as separate; for example, the ocean is regarded as a part of country or ‘sea-country’. Water is particularly significant to Aboriginal cultural identity, for example, people are characterized as 'saltwater-people', 'fresh-water people' or 'bitter-water people'.

Marshall surveys a wide range of policy documents and legal instruments and finds little to prevent the 'unfettered discretion' of bureaucracy or to support the water rights of Indigenous Peoples conferred in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Articles 25 and 26).

She also notes the absence of a water ethics discourse or social and environmental risk management framework (such as the Equator Principles) to address responsibility for risks such as water systems contamination, rates of water extraction or intergenerational social responsibilities. She makes several recommendations to address the situation.

Creator

Dr Virginia Marshall

Publisher

Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Is Referenced By

Item Relations

This Item Is Related To Item: First Peoples' Water Engagement Council (FPWEC)