Hayley Egan, Barefeet
There are many misconceptions surrounding cultural access to aquatic resources both in NSW and throughout Australia. Many people assume that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have unlimited access or no rules when it comes to harvesting resources. In NSW this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no single set of guidelines, legislation or regulations to govern cultural access. Native Title over water in NSW has for the first time been formally acknowledged in determinations in 2019. The details of the access rights to those claimants are slowly filtering through. Currently in NSW waters Aboriginal Cultural Fishing is acknowledged as a fishery along with Commercial and Recreational Fisheries. Though unlike the other two there are no regulations to govern access rights for the sector. Since 2010 there have been Interim Access Arrangements, which have evolved slightly over the last nine years. However, these are not legally binding like regulations, and as a result there are a lot of grey areas in their interpretation. This has led to the community mistrusting the Department and being in the dark about their rights within the fishery.
Dr Oisín Sweeney, Senior Ecologist, National Parks Association of NSW
It’s been a busy period for conservation activities for NPA – not that many periods are quiet of course!
NPA held its June State Council meeting at Laurieton, hosted by the Mid North Coast Branch. On the Sunday members participated in various tours of the region. The photos below taken by NPA Executive Officer, Gary Dunnett. The first place we visited was the site of a recent logging operation in Lorne State Forest. This was followed by a tour of a former Flora Reserve which is now incorporated into the adjacent Bago Bluff National Park.
Our July Environmental Book Club reading was Sunburnt Country; the History and Future of Climate Change in Australia by Joëlle Gergis. In this history of Australia’s climate and the meteorology that recorded and analysed that climate, Gergis brings understanding to climate fluctuation through natural forces and demonstrates how human action is intensifying climate variability and exposing us to new climate extremes.
The recent death of Peter Phillip Hitchcock AM was met with grief among conservationists world-wide. The Sydney Morning Herald obituary https://www.smh.com.au/national/peter-hitchcock-champion-of-nature-conservation-20190522-p51pwt.html summarises his background and national and international achievements in nature conservation. Peter was awarded the Order of Australia and international accolades.
Connect with NPA members and friends in a stimulating evening of conservation talks that celebrate our natural world and inspire new ways to experience our country. The newly formed Sydney Region Branch Committee of NPA has invited a panel of experts to share their understanding and experience of our oceans, mountains and Sydney national parks.