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July 5, 2022

Minister replies to Indigenous fishers

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Katrina Hodgkinson, NSW primary industries minister

In response to your article ‘Arakwal people claim they are denied fishing rights’ in Echonetdaily Tuesday November 13.

The NSW government, as part of its election policy, commissioned an independent scientific audit into marine parks and is currently considering recommendations and community feedback. A formal response will be made soon.

Matters including the finalisation of a draft Cultural Resource Use Agreement between the Bundjalung of Byron Bay Aboriginal Community and the Marine Parks Authority – and the Aboriginal ranger (marine) position at Cape Byron Marine Park – will be clarified following that response.

The NSW government recognises the importance of the Indigenous community and has an Aboriginal Fishing Advisory Council and Indigenous representation on several working groups.

Recognition of Aboriginal cultural fishing has also been included in the NSW Fisheries Management Act and cultural fishing rules are being developed to provide for ongoing access to fisheries resources.

Staff from the Department of Primary Industries will continue to work with representatives from the Bundjalung and other Aboriginal communities on their cultural use of fisheries resources and the employment of Aboriginal people in marine parks.


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