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The Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) Media Release

"By the Prime Minister moving the water portfolio from Environment to Mr Joyce's Agriculture, is equivalent to putting Dracula and his Vampires in charge of the blood bank" one of the delegates at the meeting said. He also said that "nobody will get any blood" we need to understand that this exact scenario is playing out in the Murray Darling at the moment.

The Balonne River at St George, Queensland
Media Release

Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations

22nd November 2016

The Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) who represents the 22 First Nations in the Northern Basin, fully support Minister Hunters call for the extra promised 450 GL of Water to be delivered to the Murray Darling Basin. The Murray Darling Basin Plan has the mechanism to return an extra 450 GL to the Environment on and above the 2750 already promised by the Plan.

Fred Hooper
NBAN chairman Fred Hooper

Representatives of the 22 First Nations met in the Minister's home town of Tamworth last week and unanimously supported a resolution to back Minister Hunters and the South Australian Government's call for Minister Joyce to be sack if he does not implement the Basin plan in it entirety and recovery the current Environmental Water Recovery Target in full, plus the extra 450GL's. "By the Prime Minister moving the water portfolio from Environment to Mr Joyce's Agriculture, is equivalent to putting Dracula and his Vampires in charge of the blood bank" one of the delegates at the meeting said. He also said that "nobody will get any blood" we need to understand that this exact scenario is playing out in the Murray Darling at the moment.

The Murray Darling Basin Chair Mr Neil Andrews and Minister Joyce has just announced a reduction in the Water Recovery Target for the Northern Basin of 70 GL's reducing the target to 320 GL's to be recovered the biggest recovery is in the Condamine Balonne. This is a disaster for First Nations peoples and their Nations of the Northern Basin especially the Lower Balonne and Culgoa floodplains First Nations people from that area.

This reduction by the Minster and MDBA Chair is another way of looking after his irrigation mates in his old electorate. We also know there has also been an announcement of an increased SDL for the Gunnedah/Oxley Groundwater Basin, again, the Minister this time looking after his mining mates within his current electorate.

The Chairman of NBAN Mr Fred Hooper who was present at both the embargoed meeting on the 21st and the announcement this morning claims that the MDBA did not have all the science before making their decision. Mr Hooper said NBAN have been involved in the National Cultural Flows Research Project since its inception and understand that the MDBA board did not seek an interim report from the National Cultural Flows Research Committee (Which the MDBA Funds) before making their decision.

The early findings of this research are clearly indicating that more water recovery is needed in the Condamine Balonne to achieve Aboriginal Environmental Outcomes for the First Nations and their peoples downstream of St George QLD and indeed across the whole of the Northern Basin.

NBAN Sovereignty
 
The NBAN Submission to the Draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan states that all of the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations as identified in the NBAN constitution insist that sovereignty has never been ceded or acquiesced over any of the lands, subsurface, all waters, natural resources and the airspace within the northern Murray-Darling Basin.
 
All of the NBAN nations' members have asserted their sovereignty, dominion and ultimate title over the lands, subsurface, all waters, natural resources and airspace within the northern Murray-Darling Basin.
 

The 22 First Nations of the Northern Basin calls on both the Mr Joyce and Mr Andrews to heed the call from First Nations people of the Northern Basin to leave the current SDL and Environmental Recovery target of 390 GL's and to ensure the 450GL's promised are implemented in the Northern Basin.

We also call on the Minister to announce a comprehensive Enterprise Development and jobs package to the most disadvantaged people in the Northern Basin (The First Nations People) rather than giving very large amounts of money to his mates in the Irrigation Industry so they can get richer and richer.

Mr Hooper said that this is an Irrigators plan and not a plan for the Environment and for First Nations peoples in the Northern Basin. NBAN is calling on all First Nations peoples to come out and make submissions to the Murray Darling Basin to stop these injustices which is still happening in this Colonial System. NBAN will be in towns in the Northern Basin during December and January to assist People in the affected First Nations Community. Dates and towns, we will be visiting will be on the NBAN website from tomorrow morning and can be accessed at www.nban.org.au.

All enquiries to Fred Hooper Chair NBAN on 0427957960 or fredhooper6@gmail.com.au