Australia’s First Treaty Laws

The Andrews Labor Government has made history – introducing Australia’s first treaty laws into the Victorian Parliament.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins today joined members of the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group, who are also Victorian Traditional Owners, and the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner on the floor of Parliament to speak to the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018.

The historic legislation will see the Victorian Government and the state’s Aboriginal people enter into formal treaty negotiations – the first state in the country to do so.

Treaty is an opportunity for Victoria to recognise and celebrate the unique status, rights, cultures and histories of Aboriginal Victorians. It is also an opportunity for reconciliation and to heal the wounds of the past.

Introduction of this legislation reflects the shared aspiration of the Government and Aboriginal Victorians to negotiate a Treaty that will tangibly improve the lives of Aboriginal Victorians, and the lives of future generations.

The Bill also reflects the hard work and contributions of more than 7,000 Aboriginal community members who have been engaged in work to further the Treaty process in Victoria.

The Government has listened to Traditional Owners, clans and family groups across Victoria about their aspirations for Treaty.

The second reading of the Bill is another step on the significant journey toward Treaty Victoria.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins:

“Treaty presents an opportunity to accelerate closing the gap by building a relationship that both acknowledges the wrongs of the past and shared goals for the future.”

“As noted in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the only way in which future generations can flourish is when Aboriginal people have power over their own destiny.”

Quotes attributable to Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher AO

“This legislation is another step toward a treaty that delivers substantive changes on the ground for Aboriginal Victorians.”

Treaty will enable all of the Victorian community to celebrate the oldest living cultures in the world.”