Aboriginal coalition wins backing for water rights campaign
Lex Hall; 25/3/10
An Aboriginal coalition has won Northern Territory government support for a radical plan to give traditional owners legal and commercial rights over inland waterways, lakes and underground basins across northern Australia. The coalition, steered by the father of reconciliation Pat Dodson, says traditional owners have a right to equal access to water and to a share in the commercial benefits it brings. Territory Indigenous Development Minister Malarndirri McCarthy said she supported the idea, saying water rights could secure the economic future of many remote-area Aborigines. `We have to be smart about the way we look at the vision of the future, but we also have to be mindful that we cannot leave anyone behind,” she said.