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Protecting Water

ALEC has a strong water reform agenda in 2022 and beyond. Water underpins life in the desert, and is intrinsic to protecting Central Australia’s diverse landscapes and ecosystems.  The issue of water security is of critical importance in the arid zone, where climate change will increasingly impact on the availability and quality of our ground and surface water supplies. Currently, water allocations do not consider how the impacts of climate change will affect water resources. This needs to change.

The Northern Territory has the weakest water laws in Australia, and a discriminatory water regime that disadvantages remote Aboriginal communities. Large scale industries such as agribusiness and gas continue to profit from billions of litres of water given to them for free by the NT Government, while very few protections exist for the health of our ecosystems and safe drinking water for future generations. This is especially concerning as climate change is significantly impacting our water resources, and the viability of life in the Northern Territory. 

ALEC is focused on ensuring the equitable and sustainable use of water resources to maintain full ecological function. We are advocating for stronger and more transparent processes based on rigorous scientific assessment before water licences are granted to protect the health of our ecosystems and communities. Water security for all Territorians, legislated through a Safe Drinking Water Act, is another key focus of ALEC’s water advocacy, alongside other organisations and the four Territory land councils.

Learn more about our campaigns to protect water:

Help stop the Singleton Station water licence

The Territory Government has approved the largest water licence in Territory history – 40 billion litres per year for 30 years. The impact on native plants, animals, sacred sites and community drinking water will be disastrous. ALEC is campaigning to stop this licence. 

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Safe Drinking Water Act 

Safe drinking water is a fundamental human right. Currently, there is an unacceptable lack of protection for safe drinking water in the NT and a discriminatory system which disproportionately impacts Indigenous bush communities. ALEC supports calls from the four NT land councils for a Safe Drinking Water Act to provide legislative protection for safe drinking water for all Territorians.

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