25 October 2017

Cultural fishing law changes welcomed 

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has welcomed the NSW Government's commitment to improve legislation on Aboriginal cultural fishing and economic development. 

NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See said the passage of the Fisheries Management Amendment (Aboriginal Fishing) Bill 2017 was an important step forward in delivering on the cultural and economic needs of Aboriginal peoples. 

The legislation allows the NSW Government's Aboriginal Fishing Trust Fund to support Aboriginal cultural fishers and facilitate economic development through grants and loans. 

"For Aboriginal peoples, cultural fishing is about feeding our families and communities and also provides economic opportunities in the fishing industry." 

Cr Ah-See thanked the Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair and his department for taking into consideration concerns jointly put forward by the NSWALC and the Native Title service provider NTSCORP. 

"Throughout the development of this Bill, both the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and NTSCORP raised concerns about resourcing, decision-making and access for Aboriginal businesses. 

"The Minister and his Department listened to our concerns and we are pleased that they have been addressed through commitments and clarifications in the Minister's Second Reading speech. 

"The NSW Aboriginal Land Council seeks to ensure that the Aboriginal Fishing Trust Fund creates more opportunities for Aboriginal peoples to practice cultural fishing and participate in the State economy. 

"We look forward to working with Government to develop additional mechanisms to resource and support Aboriginal cultural fishers and Aboriginal commercial opportunities in the fishing industry.

"We understand that applications to the NSW Government's Aboriginal Fishing Trust Fund will open shortly." 

More information about the Fund is available at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/aboriginal-fishing/AFTF 

Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291