10 July, 2015
In a year when NAIDOC Week focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea, a new report Facilitation of the FRDC Indigenous Reference Group to Progress RD&E Outcomes highlights the work undertaken by the Indigenous Reference Group to reinvigorate that connection.
Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, welcomed the report and said the Coalition is committed to improving interactions between Indigenous fisheries and broader fisheries management.
"Indigenous fisheries are recognised as one of the three major sectors, along with commercial and recreational fishing," Senator Colbeck said.
"A key part of our fisheries policy that we took to the last election was a commitment to improve engagement with the Indigenous fisheries sector to ensure their priorities are heard.
"While no single body can speak on behalf of all indigenous communities, the Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) is well positioned to coordinate higher level issues and provide advice through a consultative process."
Senator Colbeck said the report covers the establishment and initial successes of the IRG, including the overseeing of two forums about National Indigenous Fisheries Research, Development and Extension.
"The forums have allowed the IRG to make significant progress in formalising priorities to improve investment in Indigenous RD&E in the fishing and seafood industry, and they have received positive feedback from and strong support from all fishing sectors," he said.
"It is positive to see this success has led to FRDC developing an Indigenous RD&E Subprogram which will be coordinated by the IRG. This is great recognition of the important role the group plays and I'm pleased to see they are playing an important role in advocating for their sector."
Download a copy of the report here http://frdc.com.au/research/final-reports/Pages/2010-405-DLD.aspx