From the NT News, 20th May 2014
THE Northern Land Council (NLC) says it expects negotiations on access to fishing in the Aboriginal-owned intertidal zone to be completed by the end of the year.
A decision by the High Court in 2008 handed ownership to traditional owners of the area, where it adjoins Aboriginal land. The Blue Mud Bay decision affected about 80 per cent of the NT coastline.
Traditional owners have since allowed access for recreational and commercial fishers through a permit licensing arrangement in five high-use fishing areas. But much of the coastline remains unsettled.
The Full Council of the NLC wants the matter resolved.
“This the last chance to clean up business which has been dragging on for six years now,” NLC chairman Sam Bush-Blanasi said.
“If permanent settlement has not been achieved, commercial and ordinary fishers will have to apply for a licence under section 19 of the Land Rights Act to continue their operations outside the agreed recreational fishing areas.”
Chief Minister Adam Giles said he wrote to Mr Bush-Blanasi and the Full Council to seek an extension on the interim arrangements.
“This Government remains committed to giving all traditional owners in areas affected by the Blue Mud Bay High Court decision the opportunity to hold discussions with the Government’s negotiating team to see if mutually beneficial agreements can be reached,” he said.