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Aboriginal & Traditional Owners

Aboriginal & Traditional Owners’ Interests and Cultural Assets

The NRM plan area is rich in Aboriginal influences and history, and the extensive role that these land managers play both past and present in the region is acknowledged and valued by the NRM sector.

In 2008 a detailed plan was commissioned by QMDC in partnership with the Aboriginal and Traditional owner communities of the region and the Australian Government.  This QMDC Regional Caring for Country Plan 2008-2011 (QMDC 2008) delivered a vision and direction for the planning and management of Aboriginal cultural and natural resources throughout the region.  Currently under review, this extensive plan, goes beyond the brief of the Regional NRM Plan, however, is written as a complimentary but stand-alone document to the Plan and is recognised as a key strategic tool for NRM in the region.

To attempt to summarise the role of Aboriginal and Traditional owners in NRM in one separate theme area of the Regional NRM Plan would fail to acknowledge the universal role that Aboriginal and Traditional Owners play in the management of all of NRM assets of the region.

The QMDC Regional Caring for Country Plan 2008-2011 presents a holistic outlook of a broad range of issues and concerns of the Aboriginal and Traditional owner groups in the region.  The plan also contains a detailed set targets and objectives and actions to meet these concerns and therefore mirrors the Regional NRM Plan in many key areas.

In order to avoid duplication, the QMDC Regional Caring for County Plan 2008-2011 is referenced as the key document in relation to Aboriginal and Traditional Owner interests in the region. Even though dated to end in 2011, the original objectives of the document have not all been met. The QMDC Regional Aboriginal Advisory Group has advised they still consider this plan current as there are still achievements to be made and they have encouraged QMDC to seek funding for a second iteration of the Regional Caring for Country Plan.

Approaches to investment and links to the NRM Plan

Specific targets relating to land and soils, vegetation and biodiversity, rivers, floodplains and wetlands, water, weeds and pest animals and community capital are contained within the NRM Plan and clearly set the direction of QMDC’s investment of resources, including staff time and project funding. It became obvious in the development of the Caring for
Country Plan that certain strategies highlighted by the Aboriginal communities directly aligned with these targets and areas of business. It also became obvious that some strategies did not align and were therefore not a key priority for resourcing by QMDC.
The implementation and planning for natural resource management projects, however, invariably has links to the delivery of the quadruple bottom-line. In other words, undertaking projects to achieve natural resource (environmental) outcomes will often result in benefits relating to:

  • social outcomes, such as building community, improving knowledge and capacity of community and improving involvement;
  • economic outcomes, including business development; and
  • cultural outcomes, for example artefact repatriation, site protection, and maintenance of culture.

Strategies contained in the Caring for Country Plan that may not be core QMDC business may be achieved through implementation by other organisations involved in the meeting of the regional Aboriginal communities’ aspirations.

Management Approach & Actions

Key issues and goals as we work together, to manage risk, maintain or improve Aboriginal and Traditional Owners’ Interests and Cultural Assets

The strategies and outcomes below contained in the Caring for Country Plan. Please refer to the full Caring for Country Plan for additional context and information.

Community capital (Traditional knowledge of Caring for Country, Community and culture, Meaningful involvement, Aboriginal knowledge)

Strategy 5.1.1 – Ensure Traditional knowledge of caring for Country is recognised and incorporated in natural resource planning and management.

Desired outcome – Traditional knowledge of caring for Country is acknowledged as having a significant contribution to NRM in the region.

Strategy 6.1.1 – Ensure the revival, retrieval and maintenance of Aboriginal language in the region.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal languages are alive, documented and the significant links between language and practise of culture are recognised.

Strategy 6.2.1 – Ensure Aboriginal people have access to Country for the practise of culture.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are accessing Country, practising culture and maintaining culture and places of significance.

Strategy 6.3.1 – Improve cultural awareness within Aboriginal communities through ensuring the transfer of cultural knowledge.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal culture is practised, acknowledged and valued within Aboriginal communities.

Strategy 7.1.1 – Create effective mechanisms for Aboriginal involvement in natural resource planning and management.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively participating in natural resource planning and management arrangements. Involvement mechanisms are culturally appropriate and reflect traditional modes of decision-making.

Strategy 7.1.2 – Create effective mechanisms for Aboriginal involvement in the planning and management of culturally significant sites.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively participating in the planning and management arrangements for culturally significant sites. Involvement mechanisms are culturally appropriate and reflect traditional modes of decision-making.

Strategy 7.2.1. – Develop and implement an employment strategy for Aboriginal people in natural resource management.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are employed at all levels and sectors of the natural resource management industry.

Strategy 7.2.2 – Ensure opportunities for Aboriginal appointments to natural resource management boards and committees.

Desired outcome – Culturally appropriate representation of Aboriginal people exists on natural resource management boards and committees.

Strategy 7.3.1 – Ensure culturally appropriate training opportunities for Aboriginal people.

Desired outcome – Increased capacity of Aboriginal people to be meaningfully involved and employed in natural resource management.

Strategy 7.4.1 – Create opportunities for Aboriginal involvement in business development and commercial ventures.

Desired outcome – The economic independence of Aboriginal people and communities in the region are improved through natural resource management related enterprises.

Strategy 7.5.1 – Ensure adequate resourcing for Aboriginal involvement in natural resource management.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are adequately resourced to ensure they are meaningfully involved in planning and management of natural resources.

Strategy 7.6.1 – Utilise Memoranda of Understanding, protocols and similar mechanisms to ensure the culturally appropriate involvement of Aboriginal people in natural resource management.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people have agreements in place to ensure they are meaningfully involved in planning and management of natural resources.

Strategy 7.7.1 – Provide opportunities for raising cultural awareness within natural resource management organisations and in the general community.

Desired outcome – Greater appreciation for and understanding of Aboriginal culture and the appropriate mechanisms for involvement of Aboriginal people.

Strategy 8.1.1 – Capture Aboriginal knowledge in a culturally appropriate manner for the benefit of current and future generations.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal knowledge is secure and, where appropriate, is available for incorporation in natural resource management activities.

Strategy 8.2.1 – Create Aboriginal knowledge management systems which are maintained on Country.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal knowledge is secure and where appropriate, is available for incorporation in natural resource management activities. Aboriginal communities are actively managing knowledge systems.

Strategy 8.3.1 – Ensure clear understanding and respect for what information is available for public use, and what is private and the cultural lore regarding use of this information.

Desired outcome – Greater access to Aboriginal knowledge by the general community, where culturally appropriate. Culturally sensitive information is protected.

Strategy 8.3.2 – Ensure Aboriginal intellectual capital remains with Aboriginal people.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal knowledge is secure and where appropriate, is available for incorporation into natural resource management activities.

Strategy 8.4.1 – Share and transfer Aboriginal knowledge and cultural values within Aboriginal communities and with the wider community, where appropriate.

Desired outcome – Improved understanding of and appreciation for Aboriginal culture, knowledge, stories and sites of significance.

Strategy 8.5.1 – Ensure Aboriginal access to training opportunities in data and knowledge capture and management.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively involved in the recording, storage and management of their information.

Land and soils

Strategy 5.5.1 – Increased Aboriginal involvement in the monitoring, planning and management of salinity within the region, specifically on public lands.

Desired outcome – Increased awareness and knowledge of salinity and salinity risk within the region by the Aboriginal community.

Strategy 5.5.2 – Increased Aboriginal involvement in the planning and management of stock routes.

Desired outcome – Better land management of stock routes, utilising traditional caring for Country and ‘best practice’ management techniques.

Water and wetlands

Strategy 5.3.1 – Ensure Aboriginal cultural values, social and environmental perspectives for waterways and riparian areas are acknowledged, valued and incorporated in research, planning and management.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively involved in the management of waterways and riparian areas.

Strategy 5.3.2 – Create effective mechanisms for Aboriginal involvement in community water quality monitoring.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively involved in the management of waterways.

Strategy 5.3.3 – Ensure Aboriginal communities are informed in relation to river health and water quality in the region.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively involved in the management of waterways.

Strategy 5.4.1 – Ensure the rehabilitation and linking-up of Aboriginal rockwells across the region.

Desired outcome – Rockwells in the region are healthy and available for the practise of culture.

Strategy 5.4.2 – State Government considers providing water allocations for Traditional Owner Country custodians when undertaking future water resource planning under the Water Act 2000.

Desired outcome – Healthy rivers that support the spiritual, cultural, economic and social health of Aboriginal people.

Strategy 5.4.3 – State/Australian Governments provide compensation to Traditional Owners where river systems are unable to provide spiritual, cultural, economic and social health support.

Desired outcome – Healthy rivers that support the spiritual, cultural, economic and social health of Aboriginal people.

Strategy 5.4.4 – Increase environmental flows to as near to natural flows as possible.

Desired outcome – Healthy rivers that support the spiritual, cultural, economic and social health of Aboriginal people.

Strategy 5.4.5 – Ensure Aboriginal involvement in the planning and management of Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI) schemes.

Desired outcome – Maintenance of Aboriginal values and social and environmental perspectives in relation to groundwater and the Great Artesian Basin.

Vegetation and biodiversity

Strategy 5.2.1 – Ensure the protection of flora and fauna species that have specific cultural significance.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively involved in the management of vegetation and biodiversity of specific cultural significance.

Weeds and pest animals

Strategy 5.6.1 – Ensure Aboriginal cultural values, social and environmental perspectives for weeds and pest animals and how they impact on cultural biodiversity values, sites of significance and species of importance to Aboriginal people are acknowledged, valued and utilised in research, planning and management.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively involved in the management of weeds and pest animals.

Managing country

Strategy 5.71 – Ensure sites of Aboriginal cultural value and significance are acknowledged, valued, restored and protected.

Desired outcome – Aboriginal people are actively involved in the management of sites of cultural significance.

Strategy 5.7.2 – Ensure the duty of care provisions are adhered to in all on-ground natural resource management and development activities under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003.

Desired outcome – Protection of culturally significant sites and artefacts.

Strategy 5.7.3 – Ensure enforcement action occurs when breaches in the duty of care provisions under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 occur and sites or objects of cultural significance are damaged.

Desired outcome – Protection of culturally significant sites and artefacts.

 


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