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Talks begin on buffalo

Posted: Mon, August 18, 2014

OPPORTUNITY: Traditional Aboriginal landowners can benefit greatly with buffalo on country.

TALKS between the Northern Land Council and the Northern Territory Government have begun on the future of the buffalo industry, and the opportunities it offers to traditional Aboriginal landowners.

Preliminary discussions kicked off on Friday 8 August between NLC senior policy staff and the NT Government’s Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

These talks centred on ensuring the long-term viability of the industry, including discussion around animal welfare, employment opportunities, sustainable management, environmental protections and herd management.

It is hopes that the talks will lead to a sustainable and long-term industry that will serve the needs of traditional Aboriginal landowners and industry alike.

Talks are in the early stages while the NLC and NTG work out shared priorities; however it is proposed that the NLC will commence discussions with proponents regarding industry standards over the coming months.

The NLC is looking to have agreements in place by the end of the calendar year, ready for the mustering season in 2015.

“The buffalo industry offers significant potential to traditional Aboriginal landowners,” NLC CEO, Joe Morrison, said.

“Having said that, the development of the industry needs to be done properly, rather than quickly.”

It is estimated that there are at least 140,000 buffalo in Arnhem Land.