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New regional Aboriginal fishing businesses helping to Close the Gap

  • 1.  New regional Aboriginal fishing businesses helping to Close the Gap

    Posted 29-11-2023 10:45

    New regional Aboriginal fishing businesses helping to Close the Gap (Media Release)

    Published: 14 November 2023

    Released by: Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty, Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional NSW

    Source: Media Release - nsw.gov.au/

    Three Aboriginal community-owned businesses have been selected to participate in the Aboriginal Fisheries Business Development Program, led by the NSW Government, which will support selected participants to build their new businesses in the commercial fisheries sector.

    Selected participants and businesses include:

    • a commercial fishing enterprise to be developed with the Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation on the North Coast
    • a Walbunja Aboriginal Fishing Cooperative to be developed with Joonga Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation on the South Coast
    • a recirculated aquaculture and aquaponics enterprise to be developed with the Wonnarua Nation Aboriginal Corporation in the Upper Hunter region.

    A state-wide expression of interest process saw 16 Aboriginal-community owned fisheries business proposals from across NSW apply for participation in the Aboriginal Fisheries Business Development Program. 

    The program is run by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Department of Regional NSW, together with key program partners including the Aboriginal Fishing Advisory Council, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.

    It aims to support the development of new, economically viable commercial fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing or tourism related businesses that are owned and managed by Aboriginal community organisations/entities or Aboriginal community owned and run businesses in NSW.

    The 3 successful applicants will now join the program partners and be mentored and supported to progress through the program to build their feasibility assessments, business proposal and business case.

    This collaborative program will also be used to develop case studies that could easily be replicated across the state and other jurisdictions to develop other successful Aboriginal community owned and operated fisheries businesses in other areas.

    Get more information on the Aboriginal Fisheries Business Development Program.

    Minister for Agriculture and Regional NSW, Tara Moriarty, said:

    “Once the 3 business plans and business cases are developed, the program partners will work to leverage investment in the 3 new businesses across both the public and private sector.  

    “The program is part of the NSW Government’s response to the Closing the Gap national targets, aiming to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s legal rights or interests in the sea.

    “Aboriginal communities maintain a distinctive cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationship with their land and waters, and we continue to work towards increasing their participation in commercial fisheries businesses so that economic and social benefits flow back to their communities.

    “Successful applicants needed to be an Aboriginal community-owned entity or business and were required to explain how the social and economic benefits of their proposed business would flow back to their communities.”

    Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said:

    “Closing the Gap is a top priority for the NSW Government.

    “We acknowledge that to close the gap, Aboriginal people must determine, drive, and own the desired outcomes, alongside government.

    “More than ever, Aboriginal people are seeking to achieve economic independence through business creation.

    “This great initiative will see a new wave of Aboriginal businesses springing up on our coastline.”


    [City] NSW