v Foreword The Lake Eyre Basin one of the last naturally free-flowing river basins in the world is ecologically rich and immeasurably important to Australia. Given the Basin’s long-term future depends, fundamentally, on our fully appreciating its significance, this outstanding new book plays a positive and vital role. It canvasses the views of a wide range of people people who are from different walks of life and look at the Basin from different perspectives, but are united in their determination to protect and enhance it for future generations. From South Australia’s point of view, we are passionate about safeguarding the rivers from development, and supporting their remarkable diversity of plants and animals. The area is rich in Aboriginal heritage which has continuing significance for the culture and wellbeing of the descendants of the early Aboriginal groups and this is recognised by the 2012 agreement to use the ancient name of Kati Thanda. Also, the Basin is home to the beautiful Coongie Lakes wetlands system, which was declared a national park, in 2005, by the South Australian Government. The future of these and other important elements of the Basin are very much dependent on the quality of water flows from rivers that start in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Jay Weatherill Premier of South Australia Slightly larger than the Murray−Darling Basin, and about the size of France, Germany and Italy combined, Lake Eyre Basin’s significance and value to our nation is immeasurable. The iconic Lake Eyre Basin is a rarity, one of the world’s last naturally free-flowing river systems. That it remains so is thanks largely to the Lake Eyre Basin Partnership, spearheaded by Professor Richard Kingsford, who has edited this outstanding collection. This book builds on the impassioned work of those who, for 20 years or more, have sought to protect the Basin and ensure its long-term future. For tens of thousands of years the Basin has supported Aboriginal settlement and use, and this is reflected in the many areas of high cultural significance. Today, a significant percentage of the 60 000 people living within Lake Eyre Basin are Aboriginal. The Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement ensures that Indigenous voices are not only heard, but play a key role in any decisions impacting on the Basin’s future. In Queensland, as a matter of priority, we are working on the long-term sustainability and protection of the Basin’s rivers while also striking a balance with the proximate industries and the people who rely on them. Stories are powerful maybe even powerful enough to change, if not a river’s course, the course of its history. I commend these river stories, and the important contribution this book makes to the national conversation around the sustainability of the Lake Eyre Basin. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP Premier of Queensland and Minister for Arts
Previous Page Next Page