Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Blue mud bay announcement

Top End Land Councils have decided to extend the time to apply for temporary fishing permits until 31 July.


The extension coincides with their announcement that temporary recreational fishing permits are now available.


Mr Stirling said the permits are necessary following the Federal Court’s decision in the Blue Mud Bay case.


“The Government doesn’t agree with that ruling and is appealing to the High Court,” Mr Stirling said.


“However, the Government has an obligation to ensure people comply with the law as it currently stands.


“The Land Councils’ temporary permit system achieves this goal while maintaining the status quo as far as possible.”


“In our discussions with the Land Councils we have tried to ensure all Territorians can legally continue to fish, free of charge, in all Territory waters over the coming months.


“The Councils have agreed with our position that the temporary permits be free, granted automatically, and fisheries regulations and enforcement processes remain in place.”


A date for special leave to appeal to the High Court had been set for 20-21 June.


“Assuming we are successful at this first hurdle, I expect that the Court will hear the appeal later this year, and we anticipate a decision in the first half of next year.


“In the meantime, this free permit will ensure access to affected waters in the Territory. I have already applied for mine,” Mr Stirling said.


The NLC website contains further information and the fishing permit application form:


Media Contact: Richard O’Leary 0401119586