Historic agreement

June 14, 2018

Yorta Yorta Nation Elder Lance James, Goulburn Murray Water director Frank Fisseler and Yorta Yorta Nation Elder Josie Briggs at the historic services agreement.

It was a significant day for Goulburn-Murray Water and the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation as steps were taken to further protect the cultural heritage of our region.

The two corporations signed the G-MW Yorta Yorta Nation Services Agreement yesterday, setting out the terms and conditions for the provision of services by YYNAC to G-MW.

The agreement particularly focuses on the works to be completed as part of the $2billion Connections Project.

Connections project director Frank Fisseler is positive this will ‘‘lead to improved understanding in cultural matters’’.

‘‘This is a historical event for us to better tap into the knowledge and understanding of the Yorta Yorta people,’’ Mr Fisseler said.

‘‘We’re protecting the Yorta Yorta heritage for its traditional owners and meeting our legal responsibilities under the Victorian Cultural Heritage Act.’’

YYNAC chairperson Lance James said the agreement was important to the Yorta Yorta Nation’s 16 family groups who were descendants of the original ancestors as traditional owners of this land and waters.

‘‘The rivers and lands are the heart and soul of our people,’’ Mr James said.

‘‘We don’t want to see what we have in the past with stagnant waters, dying fish and birdlife,’’ he said.

‘‘This agreement will help us ensure that we continue to have a healthy river and the voice of Aboriginal people is heard.’’

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