Aboriginal fishing rights group plans Mystery Bay embasssy

UNITED GROUP: The NSW Aboriginal Fishing Rights Group gathering at North Broulee on Saturday.
UNITED GROUP: The NSW Aboriginal Fishing Rights Group gathering at North Broulee on Saturday.

ABORIGINAL fishing rights protesters say they will pitch a tent embassy further south at Mystery Bay after a strong showing at Broulee on Saturday.

The Eurobodalla-based NSW Aboriginal Fishing Rights Group said about 300 people protested NSW Fisheries alleged lack of recognition of indigenous fishing rights and inadequate negotiation.

“We are very happy – it was a good roll-up,” group member and Eurobodalla resident Wally Stewart said.

“The NSW Aboriginal Fishing Rights Group is becoming a powerful organisation which is standing up for the rights of indigenous fishers, and we will set up a tent embassy at Mystery Bay.”

The group’s Facebook page now has more than 1000 members and Mr Stewart said both indigenous and non-indigenous people from as far away as Orbost and Cann River in Victoria, Eden, Wreck Bay, Wollongong and La Perouse attended.

“We are not happy with the way Fisheries is managing our resources, and making us out to be criminals,” he said.

“We want to know why Katrina Hodgkinson (NSW Primary Industries minister) is still prosecuting us, when as native people we are exempt from the Fisheries Act.”

Mr Stewart said Aboriginal elders on Saturday taught children how to fish and about the significance of Broulee itself.

He said a similar event would be held for World Fisheries Day on November 21, in conjunction with communities up and down the East Coast of Australia.

“We have nothing to lose and we will not stop until we get dialogue with Fisheries,” he said.

Click here to read more about the meeting at Broulee

Click here to read about previous Aboriginal fishing rights protests