Fisheries Management Amendment (Enforcement Powers) Bill 2022

4 November 2022

The NSW Government recently introduced the Fisheries Management Amendment (Enforcement Powers) Bill 2022.

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) condemn the proposed changes to NSW fisheries management legislation and the continual criminalisation of Aboriginal Peoples’ fundamental human right to practise our culture and fish in accordance with our laws and customs.

The Fisheries Management Amendment (Enforcement Powers) Bill 2022 seeks to expand search powers and the definition of a premise to include a beach, trail, track, rock platform, riverbank and so on.

The proposed changes are a broad expansion of powers, particularly search powers, for fisheries officers, which will disproportionately impact Aboriginal Peoples.

NSWALC has concerns this expansion and potential misuse of power for Fisheries Officers is over-reaching and is inconsistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

NSWALC calls for the NSW Parliament to not pass the Fisheries Management Amendment (Enforcement Powers) Bill 2022. We urge LALCs and supporters to contact their local MPs urgently with their concerns about the Bill.

There has been no consultation with NSWALC or the network regarding the Bill.

NSWALC continues to advocate for the immediate commencement of section 21AA of the Fisheries Management Act, which was introduced to recognise and protect Aboriginal cultural fishing and to ensure our cultural practices are not criminalised.

To find out more about the Fisheries Management Amendment (Enforcement Powers) Bill 2022 click here.