Landmark Aboriginal win in High Court grants them control of NT tidal waters.

After a 30 year court battle the Aboriginal community has won a  ruling in the High Court of Australia upholding a decision by the full bench of the Federal Court early last year, granting Aboriginal people from Blue Mud Bay rights over the tidal waters adjoining their land between the high and low water marks in May last year. It has been received with great joy by the Aboriginal community.

The original ruling had been challenged by the NT government and had caused concern in the fishing industry.

Effectively today’s outcome means Aborigines will have the power to decide who enters the waters on up to 80 per cent of the territory coast giving legal recognition of their sea rights.

This is a very important ruling which for the first time gives Aboriginal communities control over economically important areas.   The Northern  Land Council has moved to allay fears that  the ongoing commercial and recreational fishing of the tidal waters over Aboriginal land would be halted, looking forward instead to a negotiated settlement with parties that have an interest.

It is envisaged that there will be a permit system developed after a moratorium period of one year.

PHOTO: Satellite image of Australia’s Northern Territory.

satellite image of Northern Territory

Credit:

NASA Satellite image. Photographer: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

July 26, 2003

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~ by abstraktbiblos on Wednesday, 30 July, 2008.

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