Native title

If you hold native title, as determined under the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993, and the native title determination applies to land and water, you can take and use water for the purposes specified in the native title determination without a water licence, water supply work approval (unless the work is a dam or bore), or water use approval.

This is called your native title right.

What can you use your native title right for?

If you have a native title right, you can use the water you take for purposes specified in the native title determination such as:

  • manufacturing traditional artefacts
  • hunting, fishing and gathering
  • recreational, cultural and ceremonial purposes.

Constructing a dam or bore

If you take water under your native title right using a dam or bore, you need a water supply work approval to authorise its construction.

An approval is required to ensure that the construction of the dam or bore does not cause negative impacts on water sources and their dependent ecosystems, or other landholders’ access to water for landholder rights.

How do I apply for an approval?

For information about how to apply for a water supply work approval to construct a dam or bore, go to water supply work and water use approvals.

Compliance

The NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator is responsible for compliance and enforcement of NSW water law including native title rights.

For information, go to Compliance.