Workshop: Legal rights for rivers: could it (should it?) happen in Australia? — ASN Events
1:00PM - 5:00PM
Grand Ballroom 3



Overview of legal rights for rivers (Dr Erin O’Donnell)


Guest speakers

-        Rawiri Tinirau (NZ) – Legal rights for the Whanganui River (15 minutes)

-        Dr Avril Horne (Aus) – Environmental water management and legal rights (15 minutes)


Audience questions


Afternoon tea


Small group discussion: how could legal rights work in the Australian context?

Each group tackles a specific river catchment, focusing on the following questions:

-        What is the subject of the rights? (river, basin, catchment)

-        What are the important values of the river?

-        What rights and powers should the river person have? (water rights, property rights, other specific powers)

-        What sort of organisation should represent the river? (guardians, funding)

-        How will all stakeholders be represented? (Indigenous people, irrigators, wider community, environment)

-        How would the balance between competition and collaboration be managed?

Example Australian river catchments:

-        Murrumbidgee River (NSW)

-        Kati-Thanda Lake Eyre (SA)

-        Derwent River (Tasmania)

-        Margaret River (WA)

-        Martuwarra/Fitzroy River (WA)

-        Other suggestions from participants, based on local knowledge

Participants will receive: (1) a map (2) a brief description of their catchments to guide their discussions.


Whole group discussion


Workshop close