Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Blue Mud Bay Case

In Canberra today, the High Court ruled traditional owners have a right to control access by recreational and commercial fishers in the intertidal zone over Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory.

The Australian Government supports the Northern Territory Government’s constructive plan to resolve issues raised in the Blue Mud Bay case.

The Northern Territory Government’s plan aims to reach agreement with the relevant parties to provide for recreational fishing, Indigenous economic development opportunities, appropriate arrangements for commercial fishing and any necessary resource management and regulatory changes.

The Australian Government will work with the Northern Territory Government, commercial and recreational fishers and Indigenous Territorians to achieve positive outcomes for all parties.

The collaborative approach between the Northern Territory Government, fishing interests and the Northern Land Council shows that a sensible approach to these issues is possible.

The Northern Land Council has committed to allowing a 12-month period under current arrangements to continue, while negotiations amongst all stakeholders take place.

I urge all parties to work together to ensure that sustainable fishing arrangements can continue in the Northern Territory.