Protections for our Territory Rivers now!

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The Northern Territory is known around the world for its iconic free-flowing rivers. But the future of our rivers is at a crossroads, and we need your help to avoid a Murray-Darling future in the Top End. 

Rivers like the Daly and Roper are core to our Territory lifestyle. Healthy rivers support culture, fishing and tourism, but they are at risk from big businesses like cotton and fracking.

In the coming months we are urging political parties to commit to actions that will help protect our Territory rivers for the future.

What we're asking for:

  • No dams on the Daly and Roper
  • Increased community decision-making over water decisions and planning in catchments like the Daly and Roper
  • Strong laws that protect rivers for the long term
Read more about our policy priorities

No dams on the Daly and Roper – prior commitments to ‘no new dams’ need to be enacted with specific regulations and legally binding measures. 
Precautionary binding limits on water take – there is significant evidence that existing water take is impacting on rivers. A review of existing licenses and impacts on rivers is needed. From this review sustainable limits of take need to be determined and made legally binding on decision makers.  Until this is done, there should be no further increases to water extraction. 
New water laws that protect rivers – planned new water legislation needs to include measures to legally protect high value rivers, aquifers and wetlands and to involve communities and Traditional Owners in catchment level planning.
River clearing buffer zones – well defined, enforceable land clearing buffers need to be implemented alongside all iconic Territory Rivers like the Daly and Roper.   This should be a minimum of 1km and consider larger areas where there are sensitive floodplain habitats or cultural values present.
Funding for local communities to actively take part in water decisions – Targeted support is needed for communities and representative organisations to fully engage in decisions on governance models, development pathways, water planning, licencing and protection over the long term.

Why is this important

The Northern Territory’s laws are failing to protect our unique rivers and the communities that depend on them. It’s up to Territory politicians to act to change this and this work must start now.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen more water allocated to big business and more land bulldozed for thirsty crops like cotton. Last year it was revealed that land was illegally cleared right up to the banks of the Daly River, and recently we've seen studies that explore the feasibility of a hydro-electric dam on the Roper River floodplains floated in a study on potential developments.

Expansions of thirsty industries could have disastrous impacts on our rivers, tourism, fishing, wildlife and local communities.

It’s time that we had strong protections and policies that will protect our rivers and floodplains, keeping them safe from industrial-scale water extraction.

How your action will help

We will send your message to all major political parties to show them that Territorians want them to enact real action to ensure our rivers remain free-flowing.

By sending your message, you’re telling all candidates that you want them to act to protect our rivers, floodplains and groundwater ecosystems. All sides of politics need to engage on this issue and make strong commitments to do more.

It’s time for Territory politicians to make strong commitments to protect our iconic rivers. WRITE TO ALL POLITICAL PARTIES TODAY.

Territory Rivers – Keep ‘em Flowing is non-partisan, we will never issue advice on how to vote. We are committed to working with all sides of politics at all times to secure the best outcomes for our rivers.

Take action

Send your message to:

  • Territory Labor, Chief Minister Eva Lawler
  • Country Liberal Party, Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro
  • NT Greens