The Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) applauds the appointment of Nari Nari man Rene Woods as the first Indigenous member of the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Board.
‘Rene Woods has been an incredibly effective and committed advocate for First Nations water justice, as Chair of MLDRIN since 2016,’ said MLDRIN Acting Chair and Ngarrindjeri man Grant Rigney.
‘Now more than ever, as controversial new dam projects and floodplain harvesting rules pose heightened threats to our sacred waterways, First Nations need a strong voice at the highest decision-making table of the MDBA,’ Grant Rigney said.
‘Rene has played a key role in progressing ground-breaking research into cultural flows and spoken up fearlessly against the degradation of our precious rivers. MLDRIN will be sad to lose his insight and leadership, but we are confident that he is the ideal candidate to bring First Nations perspectives to the table in the critical decisions that the MDBA will make in years to come,’ Grant Rigney said.
Today’s announcement by Water Minister The Hon Keith Pitt MP is a welcomed resolution to a challenging year, despite the considerable delays in finalising the MDBA Board position.
‘Since 2015, MLDRIN has lobbied successive water ministers and pushed hard for a First Nations appointment to the MDBA Board. Today’s announcement reflects the tireless efforts of First Nations people to have our voices heard in the management of our sacred ancestral waterways,’ Grant Rigney said.