Lake Eyre Basin Rivers 84 of 2012 revoking Wild Rivers legislation to free up access to water by irrigators in the Queensland part of the Lake Eyre Basin, once again through explicit changes to the legislation in 2014 (Table 7.1). Many partnerships – one vision Formal and informal partnerships have flourished in the Lake Eyre Basin and its rivers over nearly three decades. Trust, respect and shared passion for the protection of Lake Eyre Basin rivers have developed among the community members living and working in the Basin and the wider community, dedicated to building and sharing knowledge of the unique ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ systems of the Basin. In 1995, a pivotal public meeting in Birdsville (Fig. 7.4), a small outback town in the middle of the Lake Eyre Basin, brought together all community interests: pastoralists conservationists Indigenous representatives (from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission) representatives from local, state and Australian governments mining and petroleum industries and scientists (Table 7.1). There was substantial tension over competing visions for the Basin, driven by contrasting proposals to list part of the Lake Eyre Basin as a World Heritage site and develop irrigation on Cooper Creek. At the time, few people conceived of the Lake Eyre Basin rivers as a connected freshwater system. Even fewer identified the Lake Eyre Basin as a place where human communities were connected through their shared bonds with its rivers. The Birdsville meeting was a formal catalyst for collaboration around the sustainable use and management of water across the Lake Eyre Basin. And it succeeded: the Lake Eyre Basin Fig. 7.4. Famous Birdsville Hotel in the outback town of Birdsville, the location for many key meetings including one in 1995, triggering the start of long and enduring partnerships among Aboriginal people, conservationists, industry, scientists, landholders and government officers (photo, A. Emmott).
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