NSWCCL adds our voice to reject a proposed amendment to fisheries law

NSWCCL adds our voice to the call on the NSW Parliament to reject a proposed amendment to fisheries law, declaring it an attack on Aboriginal people’s fundamental human right to practice their culture and fish in accordance with their law and custom.

The Fisheries Management Amendment (Enforcement Powers) Bill 2022, to be debated next week, will enable Fisheries Officers to search a person, arrest without warrant, enter premises, or require information relevant to potential charges, prior to charges or arrest.

The NSW Government has  committed to formal recognition of Aboriginal cultural fishing, yet has persistently failed to recognise cultural fishing. Its failure to commence section 21AA of the Fisheries Management Act 2009, which has been passed by the NSW Parliament, has led to many Aboriginal people being charged with and faced with the stress and expense of having to run a complicated native title defence only to have the matters withdrawn or dismissed.

Noting the Premier’s stated commitment to Closing the Gap, and the over representation of Aboriginal people in the compliance, enforcement and incarceration statistics related to fisheries offences, NSWALC and NTSCORP are united in their call for the NSW Parliament to not pass this legislation. Read our submission to the inquiry and note that the report from this inquiry has not yet been released. This proposed ammendment is not only unfair; it is subverting the goverment's own process. Read a joint statement from The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and NTSCORP Limited (NTSCORP).