Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Blue mud bay update

The Territory Government is disappointed with today’s refusal by the Federal Court to grant a stay of orders made in the Blue Mud Bay case.


“Although the Government is disappointed with the ruling, we are holding discussions with all parties to deliver a stable operating environment for fishermen and traditional owners alike until the issues are resolved via an appeal to the High Court,” said Attorney- General, Syd Stirling.


“It’s clear that all sides are keen to work out a temporary solution while the legal processes run their course,” said Mr Stirling.


“The solutions being discussed will work to ensure a clear position for commercial fishing and also to provide working arrangements for recreational fishing.


“All fishers need to be aware that this decision impacts on intertidal zones abutting Aboriginal land granted under the Commonwealth Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act, and rivers, streams and estuaries overlying Aboriginal land.”


Two weeks ago the Full Court of the Federal Court handed down its decision in the Blue Mud Bay case. This case relates to both native title and fishing and navigation in waters overlying Aboriginal Land.


That decision rejected exclusive native title rights in tidal waters, but provided that the grant of freehold title to low water mark gave the Aboriginal Land Trust rights to exclude people from waters overlying that land.


Media Contact : Michelle Fraser 8901 4010 or 0407 642 011