From an episode of IndigenuityPresented by Krystal De Napoli

Interview

Indigenuity: The Fight To Restore Australia’s Waterways Back To Their Traditional Owners

Like many countries, Australia’s waterways are incredibly important and incredibly contentious. Whoever controls river systems and lakes throughout Australia has a lot of environmental, cultural, and economic power. Just as Terra Nullius was used to justify land dispossesion, colonisers cited Aqua Nullius to gain power over these waterways, asserting that Traditional Owners had no rights to the water they had used for millennia. For over 200 years, First Nations people have had a complete lack of voice and control around how waterways are managed.

Brendan Kennedy, Vice Chair of Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations and author of the Conversation article “Terra nullius has been overturned. Now we must reverse aqua nullius and return water rights to First Nations people”, joins Indigenuity to chat about the damage Aqua Nullius has caused and how traditional owners have been continuously shut out of high-stakes negotiations around the Murray-Darling Basin.

[image credit: Tim Herbert]

Brendan Kennedy
Listen to Indigenuity: The Fight To Restore Australia’s Waterways Back To Their Traditional Owners26:5313 November 2022