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Thread: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

  1. #16

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    Maybe now is the time to repeat that what I've written about and how it affects Qld fishing (particularly in regional areas) is the purpose of the item.

    The effect of the Native Title Act 1993 is different in other States and Territories because they have different State and Territory fishing legislation.

    That's why I would like to keep this issue as a Qld one.'s an invitation to Qld fishermen on Ausfish (recreational or commercial) to advise me of issues relating to the use of nets by members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in their area that are not being managed well by Qld Fisheries Dept. By PM is fine if you wish.

    By normal e-mail is fine also

    Next Wed, I have an appointment with the local State MP over the issue and its effect on the local community (TOs included).

    The objective is to use the MPs office as a "honest broker" in talks with local TO elders as the first step in a community, TO - (Traditional Owner), Dept of Fisheries reps discussion about what's going on (and has been for years).

    The identity of anybody offering up info about their area won't be disclosed.

    I'm not intending to use the Ausfish forum as a plank in addressing a Qld problem. Simply to draw attention to the issue for the info of Ausfish members in Qld.

    Ron J

  2. #17

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    I'll say it for u Ron your fed up with the islanders using the aboriginals rights to harvest fish.. in a way the islanders are breaching the rules as they are not aboriginals and they are getting away with raping our beautiful waters

    But i have to say how are u reconising the islanders from aboriginals as your pm Ron?

    My sister is dating a kiwi and i think he looks maylasian something lol

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Ausfish mobile app

  3. #18

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    You get to know the locals, Gaz. These guys are South Sea Islander origins. They also live in separate little coastal villages.

    Some just live in the general community and work in Govt Depts. Rocky is only the size of Mt Gravatt (a suburb of Brisbane) so you get to know most of the stuff that goes on.

    South sea Islanders have been around this area since the era of black-birding in the late 1800s. Some terrible stuff went on. Govt at the time and also later when the matter was addressed needed to hang its head in shame too. Some of these people had been in Aus for 30 years or more and had started new lives. That didn't matter to the Govt. Off home you go. It doesn't matter that we (the Govt of Qld) didn't do anything to stop the activity of basically kidnapping workers. Bloody dreadful treatment.

    I still don't have a problem if the local TOs recognise SSIs on pretty thin grounds. In fact, I have some sympathy for the practice. We've all got to live together.

    As long as we ALL go by the rules of the community in which we live.

    Due to non-action by the Fisheries Dept in explaining the new (since 2008) rules to everybody, some of these guys have become arrogant in the extreme in their attitude towards the rest of the community AND they're now being copied by younger members.

    The main culprit in this bit of social fabric unravelling is the Fisheries Dept itself. THEY'RE the guys I'm looking to get under the tails of.

    Anyway, that's what's happening here, Gaz and I know its also happening in other areas.

    I'll just concentrate on our backyard here. I know that if I can sort out the local Qld Fisheries people, that'll also sort out similar problems Qld wide.

  4. #19

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    We have a problem down here similar there are asian crime groups that go into our fresh water waterways and use drag nets to catch penny turtles illegally and sell them thru asian ran pet stores

    Fisheries is onto it along with illegal fishing throughout nsw

    From the fishery bust reports i see they target the murry a lot wether that be a couple blokes with illegal cod or syndicates

    What i dont hear anything about is our local lake gets raped by fishos keeping everything that jumps on a cook they'll cook its mostly 15cm bream in buckets full but fisheries dont seem to target chipping norton lake its a polluted lake but its still illegal fishing

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Ausfish mobile app

  5. #20

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    At least your Fisheries guys are attempting to do something about the problems.

    Fisheries here are refusing to investigate complaints of A&TSI illegal fishing with the bullshit claim that Commonwealth law overrides State law and prohibits State Fisheries from investigating.

    I believe they're figuring that the Qld fishing community doesn't understand the extra layer of Commonwealth legislation (Native Title Act) and how it interacts with State legislation and using that misunderstood interaction is a cynical exercise of maladministration of a govt dept. by the Director General.

    At family bbqs etc, I used to talk to the previous minister for Fisheries in Qld Bill Byrne who lived in Rocky and introduced the 3 net free zones in Qld in 2015. He loves fishing as do I so we got along quite well.

    I didn't put him down the road of Net Free Zones. Others here in Rocky did. Making it a campaign plank of the Qld election in 2015, was the first time that he revealed it to me and I got onboard.

    The local council also jumped onboard and I've been a member of each of Councils Community consultative committees (there are 4) to support their strategy since then.

    After he resigned due to ill health, he used to comment that his only regret was that he didn't get to clear all of the "administrative dead wood and 1970s culture" that existed within Fisheries making life hard for the modern fishing community.

    Bill was a Lt Colonel in the defence force and you don't get to that level by being a "dill". He arranged to pour $ millions into infrastructure upgrades in the Council area and the Council responded with a multi-million $ strategy in improving rec fishing tourism opportunities for local businesses for the river and surrounding areas.

    John Haenke (Offshore Productions/ fishing down under productions) decided to move here from Hervey Bay after a meeting with Council. A number of guided fishing operators moved into town and things have been on the up-and-up since.

    Until Qld Fisheries started playing "ducks-and-drakes" about the illegal netting taking place in our newly created Net Free Zone (after Bill resigned and was no longer Minister for Fisheries). The replacement Minister Mark Furner is simply an ALP party hack who is happy to let the Dept run the show.

    Fisheries Dept had always taken the side of the commercial fishing lobby in all previous attempts at reform.

    Bill Byrne simply sidelined Fisheries and made the Net Free Zone declarations a political decision.

    AND Fisheries have never forgotten that they were disregarded/sidelined during the process. They don't care if the NFZ gets raided by illegal net fishing and make no effort to protect it. None at all.

    At the moment its small scale but building.

  6. #21

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    A couple of comments that need to be responded to.

    Firstly Gazza.

    My claim was that ALL indigenous people in Qld can possess a net of certain dimensions. They cannot USE the net unless they have a permit issued by Qld Fisheries.

    Gazz seemed to be having some reservation about the validity of that statement and I promised to get back to him with the legislative details.

    Here is the legislation which allows it.

    Qld Fisheries Declaration 2019

    Sect 137
    1)A person must not buy, sell, possess or use commercial fishing apparatus unless—
    (a)the person holds, or is acting under, an authority that authorises the purchase, sale, possession or use of the apparatus; or

    (b)the person is authorised to buy, sell, possess or use the apparatus under a provision of the Fisheries (General) Regulation 2019 or the Fisheries (Commercial Fisheries) Regulation 2019.

    (2)Despite subsection (1), an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander may possess, but not use, a commercial fishing net without an authority if the net—

    (a)has a mesh size of at least 50mm but no more than 215mm; and

    (b)is no longer than 80m. . I invite you to look for yourself.

    Mesh any size between 50mm and 215mm and any length up to 80 metres.

    Put your thinking hats on.

    Is an indigenous person in possession of 20 nets of varying mesh sizes and lengths (not exceeding those nominated in the Declaration) breaking any Fisheries law? What about 5 different indigenous persons possessing 100 nets between them?

    Does anybody have any thoughts about the level of risk of illegal netting decimating local fish populations under this particular piece of legislation?

    Does the legislation increase or decrease that risk? More nets "on the loose" equates to more risk or the risk doesn't change?

    There were a couple of other queries that I need to answer.

    Been busy with some dreadful dog's disease trying to kill me. After having a covid test, it seems that its not covid but some other wog trying to do it. Apologies for delays.

  7. #22

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    I donno Ron this is in a state that allows legal cast nets quiet different down here

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  8. #23

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    I donno Ron this is in a state that allows legal cast nets quiet different down here

    Yep. With different Fisheries circumstances in NSW, you can expect different laws/rules.

    Did you look up the Qld law on that link?

    NSW has completely different fisheries laws to Qld (but the same Commonwealth Native Title Act applies to NSW laws as it does to Qld laws).

    Cast nets are legal in Qld (but not in freshwater). "Drag" bait nets are also legal. However, there are mesh and diameter/length limits respectively. There are no possession constraints on either.

    These set gill nets are a completely different animal.

    You can't decimate local populations of large fish with cast or bait nets. But you can with set gill nets if the mechanisms for their use aren't enforced (and they're not). Nor are there any attempts by the Fisheries Dept to "spread the word".

    If it was, there wouldn't be a problem and THAT's why a lot of Qld's fishing community is getting angry about it.

    And how do u know its not for a ceremony?

    Don't have to know Gazz.

    The question is "Is what they're doing legal" irrespective of why its being done or who is doing it.

    For it to be a legal it would need to be under a permit issued by Qld Fisheries.

    Also have u asked the people using the net if in fact they are commercial fisherman? I bet u havent

    This is a Net Free Zone (NFZ) where no commercial netting is allowed. Fitzroy River and adjacent coastline were declared NFZ in 2015. They're simply illegal netters.

    Each permit has conditions attached to it with which the permit holder must comply. Permit conditions like identity, date, location, purpose, continual net attendance, floats, lights etc need to be followed or the activity is NOT legal.

    Breach ANY of the conditions and the net is not being operated under a permit.

    But that's all it tells you. Anybody could have set an illegal net (not just TOs with/without a permit). Could be a commercial fisherman operating illegally in the NFZ.

    No continual attendance by person operating the net also means that they're not being operated under a permit.

    So there we have lots of these nets being operated willy-nilly. Some by TOs and some not by TOs.

    Yet if somebody reports an obviously illegal one, Fisheries lumps them ALL as TO nets and refuses to investigate for the b/s reason quoted earlier.

    Community confidence in Qld Fisheries is at an all-time low. Not a shred of credibility remains especially in regional areas.

    Normally its a matter of live and let live within various fishing communities but not anymore due to gradual "illegal creep" and Fisheries refusal to sort it out.

    The administration of Qld Fisheries needs a good "pull-through-with-a pine tree".


  9. #24

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovey80 View Post
    So in short. If you aren't a commercial fisherman with a licence for the net, being aboriginal is a defacto licence for being in possession of the net. But unlike a commercial fisherman an aboriginal needs to obtain a permit every time said net is used. The permit is granted for ceremonial purposes. No permit and get caught using it and you should be prosecuted as per any other person illegally using commercial fishing equipment.

    Does that sum it up?
    Yep. That sums it up.

    A commercial fisherman pays an annual fee.

    A A&TSI needs a permit each time they want to use the net. The permit fee is waived but the permit conditions need to be followed. No follow conditions then permit is invalid.

  10. #25

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    [QUOTE=shaungonemad;1674813]You can’t tell me that an 80m net is a traditional fishing method

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk[/QUOTE]

    Bit of info for you about traditional/customary fishing in Qld. (Traditional for aboriginals and custom for Torres Strait Islanders. Lets just call it all traditional to save repeating the TSI term all the time).

    What is traditional fishing apparatus from the Qld Fisheries Act?

    Attachment 122126

    Follow the words highlighted in yellow.

    The person claiming to be fishing traditionally must be using prescribed fishing apparatus.

    There are two types of prescribed fishing apparatus:

    (a) recreational fishing apparatus (like everybody else); or

    (b) apparatus prescribed in a special regulation (a law) drawn up specifically for the purpose.

    It can only be one or the other.

    The special regulation is reg 21 from the legislation (in the attached document) and "yes" reg 21 refers to the Act S14 about traditional fishing so it IS the correct one.

    And what is this specially prescribed fishing apparatus that allows A&TSI members to fish traditionally?

    Its a "fish trap".

    It goes on to define what a fish trap is.

    "fish trap means a structure made predominantly from stone or organic material that creates a holding area designed to capture a small quantity of fish."

    If the A&TSI person doesn't like either of those options, then he/she can apply for a permit to use their net. THEN they're not fishing using a traditional method. They're simply fishing for a traditional purpose.

    Clear as mud.

    Anyway, these pages are MY version of the gospel only and basically it applies to Qlders only.

    Nobody has to agree with it but I'll bet that at least now you know a bit more than you did last week about the subject/s. Enough to start asking the right questions if you wish.

    C ya all when the drought breaks.

  11. #26

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealPoMo View Post
    How do you know they are an Aborigine or Islander?
    What's the criteria?
    Do you just have to live in a recognised community?

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

    Mate, you don't have to know anything about the operator of the net in order to work out if its a legal operation or not.

    This area is a Net Free Zone where no netting is allowed UNLESS its done under a permit issued by Fisheries Dept so its a simple matter to determine the legitimacy or otherwise of the net.

    In areas that are NOT Net Free Zones, commercial net fishermen MUST abide by the conditions attached to THEIR licences. Similarly, permit holders are expected to abide by permit conditions in NFZs.

    The only way that a legitimate netting operation can be carried out in a NFZ is by a special Fisheries Dept permit.

    If the net IS legitimate (under a Fisheries permit) then there are 3 conditions relating to legitimacy identification that must be clearly and visibly followed.

    The first one is that the operator of the netting operation MUST remain within 100m of the net when its in the water. No operator in attendance then no legitimacy.

    Secondly, the permit number, holders name etc MUST be clearly and visibly displayed on a white float of at least 150mm diam. No identifying float then no legitimacy.

    Thirdly, the net MUST display markers (floats by day and lights by night) visible for 400m in all directions. No markers then no legitimacy.

    If a net is found that DOESN'T meet these 3 conditions, then an enforcement officer AND any other person has reasonable grounds to suspect that the operation is illegal and take action.

    For an enforcement officer that may include seize the net without warrant. Investigate and ....Issue a fine...Issue a formal warning....For a member of the public that may include lodge a complaint with the Fisheries Dept about suspected illegal fishing operations.

    The enforcement officer's job is to investigate the complaint to ascertain if an offence against the Qld Fisheries Act has been committed.

    Sounds pretty straightforward? As it should. Standard investigation practice.

    One of the tasks of an investigator (apart from searching for the truth) is to anticipate potential defences and address them in the investigation process. The investigating officer needs to present ALL the facts (not just selective ones that favour any prosecution). Even facts that may assist the suspects defence.

    But they have to be addressed in the investigation process if its to be a professional investigation.

    However, the QB&FP in the CQ area is simply saying that the Native Title Act prevents them from investigating complaints which is rubbish.

    The Fisheries Qld "guidelines for Investigations" tells enforcement officers that they must investigate complaints and that the legitimacy of offender defences are a matter for the courts to decide and NOT for the field officer to decide especially in advance.

    Fisheries Dept enforcement officers are ignoring the Departmental investigation guidelines and guessing that any suspected offender WILL raise the NTA defence; assumes that ANY investigation would therefore be a waste of time and so refuses to investigate.

    The tail is wagging the dog.

    These types of responses are not uncommon in cases where the investigator has "gone stale." They simply look for reasons NOT to do things thus making their working lives "easier".

    "Staleness" is also evident throughout Depts where the management/supervisors are either inept or stale as well. There's more than a whiff of both qualities evident in Fisheries Qld.

    These pesky complaints about fisheries offences just keep getting in the way of a comfortable working arrangement.

    The job of ANY investigator (no matter what the type) is to search for the facts/truth. It's NOT an investigator's job to act like a community moral compass. Fisheries Qld guidelines for investigations tells field staff that (in different words) but is being ignored in this area of Qld Fisheries operations.

    Below is a sample permit for indigenous netting issued in Qld. It shows only 9 of the 14 permit conditions normally attached. However, the "legitimacy indicators" are contained in those 9 conditions.

    I also have a copy of Qld Fisheries "Guidelines for field investigations" AND permit applications for net fishing for traditional purposes.

    However, the PDF file document size is between 1 mb and 2 mb while the forum limit is 1 mb. I've asked if that limit can be waived temporarily to allow attachment. We'll see.

    Attachment 122141

  12. #27

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    Im not commenting because im Irish... you'll likely use what i say when u enter the meeting

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Ausfish mobile app

  13. #28

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    No Gaz. Yr secrets are safe with me.

    The netting problem here is that because Qld Fisheries refuse to convince TOs to properly identify their netting operations, there is no way to work out the "good guys from the bad guys" if u come across a net.

    Nobody wants the good guys (TO traditional activities) to be fined or pinched or anything. They're entitled to be doing that.

    We want the BAD GUYS stopped. Outsiders ( B and W alike) who are making hay while the sun shines while Qld Fisheries sits on its bum or bignotes itself harassing mum, dad & kids at boat ramps about meaningless bureaucratic exercises in trivia.

    Had the meeting yesterday with the local state pollie who is going to do wonderful things with a bucket of eggs and a big stick. Wash yr mind out with soap if you think that the pollie's promises have anything to do with a Qld election coming up in late October. Anyway, we'll see.

    Going downriver this coming week for a couple of trips. Some big barra have been caught in the town reach of the river of late (over 120cm). Also big threadfin king to 147cm down river. Don't like crowds so go to places where there aren't people around much

    They're the species that are being targetted by the bad guys with nets.

    Water temp starting to rise so looking good for summer already.

    What about you? Winter or summer fishing best?

  14. #29

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    I think one "issue" here is the equipment used, it's all well and good to talk about traditional land owners and sacred rites, but I kind of doubt many indigenous people in the past used outboards and nets, this whole business is a two way street.

  15. #30

    Re: Commonwealth Native Title Act and Qld fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Noelm View Post
    I think one "issue" here is the equipment used, it's all well and good to talk about traditional land owners and sacred rites, but I kind of doubt many indigenous people in the past used outboards and nets, this whole business is a two way street.
    I commented on that bit earlier i think the outboard and tinny use is because back 300 years ago an aboriginal could probably walk thru a creek and spear a barramundi

    These days our population has expanded hugely and so has the amount of people fishing so the chances of walking in a creek to spear a barra would be probably none the fish have become wiser of humans

    So aboriginals would need a boat with a outboard just to compete with the modern world to be able to catch a fish

    When was the last time u could walk along a beach and spear a fish? 300 years ago it may have been highly likely

    So to still keep the tradition of taking a fishes life they need to use some modern art of fishing

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Ausfish mobile app

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