A bucket of dead fish was emptied outside NSW minister for regional water Niall Blair’s office on February 7 as part of a protest to demand swift action on the water crisis affecting regional communities. The protest was organised by Fighting In Resistance Equally (FIRE).
More than 7000 submissions were presented to the NSW Department of Planning after a lively march through Sydney’s CBD to protest against Santos coal seam gas mining that threatens the Pilliga Forest and goes against the wishes of the Gamilaraay traditional custodians of the land.
Narrabri gasfield threatens two precious water resources: the Great Artesian Basin and the Murray-Darling Basin.
The area of the Great Artesian Basin with the highest recharge rates is almost entirely contained within the Pilliga Forest.
Water buybacks for the Murray Darling basin will be capped at 1500 gigalitres after Labor joined with the Coalition to pass a bill in the Senate on September 14.
The bill was backed by the National Farmers' Federation and means the government will be able to buy back only 1500 gigalitres of water entitlements from farmers each year.
An alliance of 46 Sovereign First Nations from across the Murray Darling Basin has proposed a new partnership between government and traditional owners to ensure key reforms on Aboriginal ownership and management of water entitlements are fulfilled.