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Blue Mud Bay decision handed down.

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Media Contact: Kate Sieper 0488 484 689

M e d i a R e l e a s e THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Federal Member for Lingiari 30th July 2008 BLUE MUD BAY DECISION HANDED DOWN The member for Lingiari, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, today welcomed the High Court’s Blue Mud Bay decision that clarified once and for all that Indigenous people hold exclusive access rights along the Territory’s coastline and tidal rivers. “It has been a long struggle for the Traditional Owners, resulting in an historic victory that should pave the way to fair negotiations and agreements over the use of the inter-tidal zone,” said Mr Snowdon. “I am confident that the Blue Mud Bay decision will enable a stronger relationship to form between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Territorians, and that all interests in the coastal and tidal rivers will be respected. “Over the past year, the Northern Land Council, the Northern Territory Government and the Amateur Fisherman’s Association NT have started constructive conversations about access and rights, and I am sure these will continue. “The good will and desire of all parties to provide for Indigenous economic opportunities, recreational fishing, commercial fishing and resource management has been clearly stated “And I am encouraged by the fact that the Northern Land Council has announced they will leave existing arrangements in place for at least the next 12 months while agreements are developed. “The Northern Territory Government has the leadership and commitment to now sit down with the Traditional Owners and the commercial and recreational fishers to develop systems of management that will work for all Territorians and indeed, all Australians.”