Historic step forward towards treaty

The Treaty Advancement Commissioner, Jill Gallagher is welcoming the news that treaty legislation has been passed by Victorian Parliament's lower house. 

The Advancing the Treaty Process With Aboriginal Victorians Bill was passed on Thursday evening. 

"This is a great day," said Ms Gallagher. 

"There is a long way to go. But we are making progress, step by step," she said. 

The legislation will now be considered by the upper house. 

If passed, it would commit the government to work with the Aboriginal Representative Body - made up of traditional owners, elected by Aboriginal people. 

The Representative Body would - along with government - create 'ground rules' for negotiations. This includes who could negotiate, and what is on the table. 

The Representative Body will include the input of elders to make sure it is culturally accountable to the community, and will work with government to set up an independent umpire to oversee negotiations.

The Representative Body would also run a Self-Determination Fund, to allow communities to negotiate with the government on an equal footing. 

The Commissioner is focusing on talking with communities across Victoria, and informing them of the facts. 

She is visiting Portland, Ballarat, Halls Gap, Horsham, Mildura, Robinvale and Swan Hill in the next two weeks. 

For more information, check the event pages of this website, or contact the Commission via (03) 8684 7537.