Lake Eyre Basin Rivers 106 our people, the sinkhole complexes are sacred sites. These cave systems catch, hold and filter the underground water that we all rely on in the Barkly Tablelands. The revocation of the Georgina River/Diamantina River Wild River declaration (see Chapters 20 and 21) has made these systems particularly vulnerable to the increasing interest in petroleum and gas exploration (see Chapter 19). Our history and engagement Our people are documenting the cultural and environmental values of these magnificent surface and underground river systems. This includes capturing how they change with dry and wet seasons. We are training the next generation of Aboriginal people, providing them with the skills and qualifications to work in construction, mining, and land and water management. The mining industry employs many Indigenous people, providing an opportunity to educate our people about country as well as a source of employment. We provide basic skills training, but also focus on imparting cultural knowledge and an understanding of the importance of Aboriginal religion, culture, and traditional methods of land and water management. Our Indigenous land and sea rangers are increasingly deployed in our national parks. Conclusion There is a sad and long history of conflict, often over water, between our people and European settlers. We don’t want to fight again over water these wonderful rivers below and above the ground are irreplaceable. We need to work together and look after them. We need to listen to Traditional Owners of the country and their knowledge of how the rivers work and their deep cultural significance. It is incumbent upon us to find ways to protect the cultural and environmental health of the rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin, now and into the future. References Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation (2012) Indjalandji-Dhidhanu traditional ecological knowledge project: Georgina River, Camooweal North West Queensland. Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation, Camooweal. Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation (2015) The Georgina River and Barkly Tablelands: Stories from the Camooweal Caves (Wiliyan-ngurru) Heritage Landscape. Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation, Camooweal. Roberts AJ (2005) Frontier Justice: A History of the Gulf Country to 1900. University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland. Schmiechen J (2004) Lake Eyre Basin Heritage Tourism Future Directions. Lake Eyre Basin Coordinating Group, Adelaide, Sutherland G (1913) Across the Wilds of Queensland with Sheep to the Northern Territory in the Early Sixties. W.H. Wendt & Coy Ltd Printers, Brisbane.
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