Daly River

  • Jul, 2024

    Stories from the river: Walter Rodgers

    “The water of the Roper is precious … I don’t like the government plan regarding our water and we’d like to leave it as it is.

    Walter Kolbong Rodgers is a Senior Culture Man from Ngukurr, on the Roper River. Hear more from him in the video below.

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  • Jan, 2024
    Credit: Nick Gouldhurst

    Stories from the river: Mark

    I was born on the banks of this river, it’s our life blood. I’ve fought for this river in the past and I’m ready to fight for it again. This river has beautiful cold water for drinking, we must keep it that way.

    This river has got everything you need. It’s got what’s in the water and also what lives on the banks, the the fruit trees, berries and what you dig out of the ground. It’s got bamboo for making spears, along with all those different types of fish and sharks.

    This river is the beginning of the floodplains at Daly River. It’s important that when the river does flood, it not only cleans the billabongs out and the floodplains, it rejuvenates it. A lot of people just think water, water, water. But they don’t look at the whole picture. It flies, it hops, it crawls, it walks, it swims. Everything revolves around water.

    I want my kids and my grandkids to see this river like I’m seeing it. Well, better than what I’m seeing it. Something got to be put in place to protect it.

    Credit: Nick Gouldhurst

    Mark Casey is a Nauiyu Elder from the Daly River

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  • Jan, 2024

    Video: Natural Values of Territory Rivers

    Witness what makes the treasures of the Northern Territory special! Our pristine rivers are a true natural wonder and are unique in this world.

    Unlike elsewhere in the world, Territory rivers like the Daly, Roper, Adelaide and Victoria remain in good shape – they haven’t been dammed, over-extracted and polluted like rivers down south.

    The health of these rivers is important for providing drinking water, food, jobs, and underpinning culture.

    They also support a wide range of unique species, some of which are not found anywhere else.

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  • Jan, 2024

    Video: Floodplain Harvesting in the Northern Territory

    “We’re looking down the barrel of a repeat of the Murray-Darling Basin here in the Top End and it’s something that the community is absolutely opposed to.”

    Kirsty Howey from Environment Centre NT explains the troubling process of ‘floodplain harvesting’ and why it risks our rivers.

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  • Jan, 2024

    ‘NT government-commissioned probe of report predicting cotton environmental impacts finds most claims supported’: ABC

    Read the story HERE, listen HERE, or watch it HERE.

    An independent assessment that the Northern Territory government commissioned to find out whether a green group’s report falsely claimed developing a major cotton industry could damage rivers and aquifers, has found most of its conclusions were correct.

    Story by Jane Bardon. (ABC 2 January, 2024).

    You can sign our action asking the NT Govt to act to protect our rivers, floodplains and surrounding savannas HERE.

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  • Jan, 2024

    Cotton gin opening increases Northern development tussle: ABC PM

    Listen to the story HERE.

    The opening of the NT’s first cotton processing plant is being touted as an important step towards developing the North by the industry, but increasing community concerns over water use.


    Sue Brosnan, Katherine cotton gin project coordinator
    David Connolly, Tipperary Stations Group General Manager
    Rosina Farrell, Jilkminggan Mangarrayi community leader
    Kirsty Howey, NT Environment Centre 

    This report is from Jane Bardon. (ABC PM 15 Dec 2023 ).

    See updates and developments from this story HERE.

    You can sign our action asking the NT Govt to act to protect our rivers, floodplains and surrounding savannas HERE.

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  • May, 2023

    Video: ‘The Daly River is a sacred place.’

    “It’s important that we all look after and protect water … We want to keep this river still alive and flowing for all of us to enjoy.”

    Meet Malak Malak Traditional Owners Theresa Lemon and Sheila White, and Mark Casey from Nauiyu, who share why the Daly River is sacred to them and why it needs to be protected for future generations.

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  • Apr, 2023

    Video: Fishing the Northern Territory’s pristine Daly River

    Meet local fishing tourism operators and long-term fishos on the Northern Territory’s iconic barramundi fishing river – the Daly.

    Tourists flock from all over to try and catch one of the Daly’s legendary trophy sized Barramundi and explore one of the most beautiful and abundant rivers in Northern Australia. Our incredible natural asset has secured major international fishing tournaments year on year and attracts the best sports fishers from around the world. These events inject millions of dollars into the NT economy and significantly boost the Territory’s tourism brand.

    In particular, the Daly River tourism industry has experienced huge growth and today supports jobs across a number of tourism resorts, seasonal fishing guides and a stream of recreational fishers. This thriving Daly River tourism industry relies on a healthy, intact ecosystem, the spoils of which our visitors and ourselves get to enjoy.

    This success is built on healthy river flows. We know that looking after this flow is critically important – especially to ensure our future livelihood in tougher years. Scientific research has firmly established that a healthy Barramundi fishery relies on regular wet season floods, creating highly productive ecosystems. Barramundi spawn early in the wet season and a successful recruitment of baby Barramundi relies on access to floodplains and billabongs. The ‘run-off’ is when Barramundi must return to the main river channel, putting them within easy reach of a fishing lure. This is the crucial element that draws in tourists, families, fishers and a whole manner of people.

    Stripping away the lifegiving floodplain flows will be disastrous for our healthy Barramundi stocks and the vibrant tourism industry that relies on them.

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  • Feb, 2023

    ‘Aboriginal land council levels criticism at NT government over unregulated land clearing’: ABC

    Excerpt: “A prominent lobby group says land clearing is risking the NT’s river networks — which are some of the most pristine in the world — and the failure to properly regulate land clearing for a cotton industry is disappointing.

    Warren de With, the president of the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the NT (AFANT), said extensive clearing near the Daly River — a tourism and barramundi fishing mecca — was of most concern.”

    Read the full story HERE or watch it below.

    ABC TV – LAND CLEARING: Aboriginal land council ‘loses confidence’ with NT Govt. Report by Roxanne Fitzgerald.

    You can also listen to the NT Country Hour segment below:

    You can sign our action asking the NT Govt to act to protect our rivers, floodplains and surrounding savannas HERE.

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  • Jan, 2023

    Federal intervention required over land clearing near iconic Top End river


    Conservation advocates are calling for federal intervention to protect native savanna and rivers in the Top End following national revelations that the Northern Territory’s existing environmental protection regime may be failing to provide proper oversight.

    “The public is rightly shocked by the media coverage of satellite pictures showing what appears to be unpermitted clearing and regulatory inaction on land clearing, right next to iconic rivers such as the Daly River,” said Pew Charitable Trusts’ Northern Territory manager Mitch Hart.

    “The activity – revealed on ABC TV’s 730 current affairs program this week – raises questions about the Northern Territory Government’s capacity to protect our environment, culture, fishing and the lifestyle which Territorians value highly.

    “We welcome the strong concern raised by the Federal Labor Government Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, who calls for a stop to unauthorised land clearing, as well as the intervention by independent Senator David Pocock and the call for an Inquiry by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young of the Australian Greens.

    “This is a key test of whether the Northern Territory Government can meet its responsibility to properly look after the Territory’s environment. We need properly enforced environmental standards that actually protect our rivers, floodplains and savannahs. First and foremost, the government must act to stop the rush to bulldoze Australian bush for cotton crops,” Mr Hart said

    “We need to approach river management in a completely different way to ensure that we don’t repeat the dire mistakes made in rivers elsewhere in Australia. That means involving communities in developing management plans and mapping out new pathways for protection right across the Territory – using local Indigenous knowledge incorporating best science around water flows, native species’ requirements and climatic change impacts.

    “Industrial cotton farming is not compatible with the sustainable management and protection of the Territory’s intact tropical river systems – some of the last in the world,” he said.

    Note: The report – A Fork in the River – the consequences of a major new cotton industry in the Northern Territory, warns that the establishment of a major cotton industry in the Northern Territory could jeopardise Top End river systems, threatening their unique biodiversity and putting at risk the NT’s lucrative fishing and tourism industries.

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