What we will do

  • Recognise Aboriginal values and objectives of water;
  • Include Aboriginal values and traditional ecological knowledge in water planning;
  • Support Aboriginal access to water for economic development; and
  • Build capacity to increase Aboriginal participation in water management.

Water for Victoria seeks to include and respond to Aboriginal water values and work in respectful partnership with Traditional Owners.

Victorian Traditional Owners have cultural, spiritual, and economic connections to land, water, and resources through their associations and relationship with Country. They have managed land and water sustainably over thousands of generations.

This plan will lead the way in improving access to water for Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians for economic development.

Connection to land, water, and resources on Country is important for Aboriginal health and wellbeing. In some cases, reconnecting Traditional Owners to water will revive culture and contribute to an improved sense of identity.

Working with Traditional Owners, the water corporations, catchment management authorities, and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder will seek opportunities to deliver shared benefits of water, and include traditional ecological knowledge in water planning.

Traditional Owners have the right to take and use water for traditional purposes, and Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians can also access water by securing a water entitlement.

The Government will identify seed funding and business finance opportunities for Aboriginal enterprises to invest in water.

We will build capacity in the water sector with Traditional Owners to increase Aboriginal participation and inclusive practices in water management.

Key investments

One way the Victorian Government is supporting Aboriginal economic development is by establishing the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board. This Board will develop an ambitious work program including facilitating Industry Agreements and Landmark and Place-Based Projects. The 2016-17 Victorian Budget also provided $6.6 million for the Aboriginal Business Strategy to promote the diversity and entrepreneurship of the Victorian Aboriginal business sector

The government will invest $5 million and work in partnership with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians to develop a roadmap for access to water for economic development.

The government will invest $4.7 million over four years to establish the Aboriginal Water Program, a state-wide approach to incorporate Aboriginal values and expertise into water management.

Case Study: A vision for the future of Lake Condah

Working with traditional owners and Aboriginal Victorians. Here are some examples of local projects that icnorprate cultural objective into Victorian water management and planning.