- Yamatji Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve provides 25.8 gigalitres of water per year for use or trade by Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation (YSRC)
- The landmark lease agreement creates an opportunity for YSRC to generate economic revenue from the water reserve
- The water will support the proposed Beharra Silica Sands project near Dongara
Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced that the first lease agreement for access to water from the Yamatji Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve has been executed between Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation (YSRC) and Perpetual Resources Limited.
The agreement provides Perpetual Resources Limited access to a 560,000 kilolitre per annum water allocation from the Yamatji Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve to support their proposed Beharra Silica Sands project near Dongara.
The landmark lease agreement creates an opportunity for YSRC to generate economic revenue from the reserve and will support the implementation of its strategic plan and water business through Yamatji Enterprises Limited.
In an historic first, the Yamatji Nation Indigenous Land Use Agreement (2020) provides members of the Yamatji Nation access to and rights to trade the use of 25.8 gigalitres of groundwater under the Yamatji Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve, across a range of aquifers in the Arrowsmith groundwater area 200 kilometres north of Perth.
The Yamatji Nation will also receive $21.3 million to help develop water resources under the reserve for use or trade.
Perpetual Resources Limited's Beharra Silica Sands project will require environmental approvals before commencement.
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"This historic agreement is an important step for Yamatji people as it represents the first water lease in the Yamatji Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve.
"Establishing these reserves can provide Traditional Owners with access to groundwater to facilitate business development and support economic development.
"The agreement confirms the strong working relationship between Perpetual Resources and the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation, with both parties actively exploring additional economic improvement initiatives."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The McGowan Government remains committed to working in partnership with the Yamatji Nation to ensure they realise the maximum benefit from the historic Yamatji Nation Agreement.
"This landmark first lease agreement for water access aligns with the State Government's commitments on Closing the Gap, particularly around economic participation."
Comments attributed to Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation CEO Jamie Strickland:
"This agreement is the first of its kind and demonstrates how our Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve can generate opportunities and economic benefits for the Yamatji Nation.
"We look forward to working with Perpetual Resources and thank them for recognising our role as a catalyst for a strong and sustainable future for our members as we continue to build our strategy and water business through Yamatji Enterprises."
Water Minister's office - 6552 6100
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5800