See Map 5.
The Northern Land Council recognizes at least 11 discrete groups of Aboriginal people within the Daly River Catchment region. These include: Wadjigiyn; Maranunngu; Malak Malak; Kamu; Warai; Nanggiwumerri; Wagiman; Wardaman; Dagoman; Jawoyn; Yangman (Daly Region Community Reference Group, 2004. Draft Report, p.45).
See Map 4.
Within the catchment region there is a range of tenures including pastoral leases, Aboriginal land, Crown land and reserves. Pastoral lands make up the majority of land use within the region, followed by Aboriginal Land Trusts lands, as can be seen in the table below.
Source: Daly Region Community Reference Group, 2004. Draft Report.p.31
See Map 1.
The Northern Territory has undergone significant change to local governance in recent years through the transition to a shire system of governance, administered under the Local Government Act 2008. The Daly River Catchment has now been brought under the Big Rivers Regional Management Plan to coincide with these changes. Regional Management Plans are required to address ‘particular matters’, such as:
“They are to include a description of the challenges and opportunities for local government within the region; address the administrative and regulatory framework for local government service delivery; list any existing or potential cooperative arrangements involving local government in the region, either among councils themselves or with other bodies; and, identify core local government services and the communities to which they must be delivered by the shire councils.”
(Local Government Management Plan: Big Rivers Region, 31 August 2008.p.3-4)
The Big River Regional Management Plan incorporates the Katherine Town Council, the Victoria-Daly Shire Council and the Roper-Gulf Shire Council. For the Daly River Catchment region the Katherine and Victoria-Daly shires are of relevance.
Government structures for environmental engagement
The Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport play a significant role in the management of the Daly River region, chiefly through the Daly River Management Advisory Committee.
Community involvement in environmental management
Under the DRMAC, the Daly River Aboriginal Reference Group has 22 members representing all the Traditional Owners groups in the catchment region. Three of these members are represented on DRMAC. Additionally the Daly River Region Community Reference Group is another key form of community involvement and engagement in environmental management in the region. The reference group was establish in 2004 and has enabled the interests of the community to play a role in setting the agenda for environmental management. The Northern Land Council has a Caring for Country unit, which plays a role in facilitating Indigenous cultural and natural resource management projects within the region.
Daly Region Community Reference Group, 2004a. Executive Summary.
Daly Region Community Reference Group, 2004b. Draft Report.
Daly River Management Advisory Committee, 2010. Annual Report: 2009-2010, Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport, Palmerston.
Daly River Management Advisory Committee, 2007. Adaptive Management Framework for Native Vegetation Clearing in the Daly River Catchment, Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport, Palmerston.
Northern Territory Government, 2008. Local Government Regional Management Plan: Big Rivers Region, Darwin.
This plan outlines the changing responsibilities for water management under the recent changes to local government in the Northern Territory through the establishment of shire councils.
Putnis, A., Josif, P. and Woodward, E., 2007. Healthy Country, Healthy People: Supporting Indigenous Engagement in the Sustainable Management of Northern Territory Land and Seas: A Strategic Framework. CSIRO: Darwin, 229 pages.
This report summarises a five year plan for investment in Indigenous land and sea management in the Northern Territory under the Healthy Country Healthy People Schedule, which aims to deliver better outcomes from investment in Indigenous land and sea management, particularly considering the impact of the Northern Territory Intervention and the demise of the Community Development Employment Program. Based on the profile of an established Indigenous land and sea management sector, with an emerging market for NRM activities, they argue that sector has potential to expand based on a growing interest in biodiversity preservation, an emerging sector of fee-for-service conservation work and the development of markets related to land and sea management activities.
Map 1: Big River Catchment Region
Source: Northern Territory Government, 2008. Local Government Regional Management Plan: Big Rivers Region, Darwin.
Map 2: Daly River Catchment
Source: Northern Territory Government, 2007: http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/water/drmac/plan/index.html
Map 3: Daly Region Community Reference Group: Major Sub-catchments
Source: Daly River 2004 Reference Group draft report: Figure 1
Map 4: Daly Region Community Reference Group: Land Tenure By Type
Source: Daly River 2004 Reference Group draft report: Figure 5
Map 5: Daly Region Community Reference Group: Aboriginal Language Groups
Source: Daly River 2004 Reference Group draft report: Figure 7
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