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Water Rights Now

Will you please ask Premier Dominic Perrottet to end the dispossession of Traditional Owners’ water rights?  

I am a proud Gomeroi woman, born and bred in Moree on my ancestor’s Country in the northwest of NSW. 

As I am sure you know, my people’s sovereign lands have been systematically stolen over the past 230 years through a process of colonisation. We have never ceded our Country, and the colonisers have never offered a treaty on just terms to right that wrong. 

What you might not know is that colonisation has stolen something just as important to my people as land – maybe more so. It has taken our water — our lifeblood — the essential ingredient that sustains the web of life into which my people have been woven since the beginning of time. I am writing to tell you that colonisation and the dispossession of my people’s water rights did not end last century. It is still happening today, and in fact it is accelerating. 

Will you please ask Premier Dominic Perrottet to end the dispossession of Traditional Owners’ water rights?    

The NSW Water Minister is about to give a few landholders brand new floodplain harvesting entitlements for billions of litres of water that they will store in their private dams, preventing it from flowing into our rivers and wetlands, water that is essential to keep these places alive.   

Losing our land was excruciating. It stole our livelihoods. It has forced generations of my people into poverty and sickness. Countless numbers of my ancestors were killed or died young from disease. But through all these terrible times, we always maintained connection to Country, especially through our rivers and waterholes. 

Now the government is threatening that connection by stripping billions of litres out of our already struggling waterways. Premier Perrottet says he wants to do what he can to improve conditions for Aboriginal Peoples. I want to believe him. That’s why I think he can be persuaded to intervene in this matter, which is one of the most important things he could do for the welfare of Aboriginal people.  

Will you please email to the Premier and ask him to do something very practical for Tradition Owners? He has the power and he says he cares for my people. Please ask him to stop the massive water giveaway that will sicken our already ailing waterways.  

Polly Cutmore 
Gomeroi Woman  
Moree, Northwest NSW