7 – Connecting the champions of the Lake Eyre Basin rivers 81 Launch of Cooper Creek and Georgina– Diamantina Catchment Management Plans 2000 Cooper Creek and Georgina–Diamantina catchment committees stretched across the entire catchment and were formed by the respective governments, community members, supported by some scientific input. They delivered plans which respected the connectedness of the Basin’s rivers and communities. These plans formed the basis for all subsequent objectives of planning, providing the essential catchment focus required for protection of the river flows. Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement Formally signed by the Australian, Queensland and South Australian governments with enacting legislation the following year. As required by the agreement, the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum, and advisory groups (Community Advisory Committee and Scientific Advisory Panel) were established. This was the critical formal process by which the governments involved provided their policy support and subsequent funding for integrated management of the Lake Eyre Basin and its rivers. Cooper Creek Water Resource Plan This prohibited irrigation in the Cooper Creek catchment. This represented a fundamental change in favour of protecting the natural flow regime of the rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin. Lake Eyre Basin Biennial Conference 2002 The agreement stipulated the provision of a biennial conference involving community, industry, scientists, government ministers and officials. The inaugural event was held in Birdsville, Queensland. Platform for respectful discussion, information exchange and recognition of community commitment. The events, subsequently held in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013, served to galvanise a unifying vision for the management of Lake Eyre Basin rivers and influence government investments in Lake Eyre Basin programs and projects. Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement 2004 Signed by the Northern Territory Government The three major jurisdictions and the Australian Government were now party to the agreement. Lake Eyre Basin Aboriginal Forum The Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum commits to Aboriginal Forums in recognition of the connection of Aboriginal people with the Basin and the importance of advice from Aboriginal people on the management of the rivers and cultural values. The inaugural event was held near Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Aboriginal people of the Basin have an opportunity to meet and discuss issues of concern about the natural and cultural management of the Basin and make recommendations to the Ministerial Forum. Subsequent forums were held in 2006, 2009 and 2011 at locations within the Basin.
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