• Parliament House, Hobart, Tasmania. (Wikimedia commons)Source: Wikimedia commons
Tasmania's Constitution is set to be changed to include recognition of Aboriginal Tasmanians, after the recommendation of a state parliamentary committee.
18 Nov 2015 - 10:54 AM  UPDATED 18 Nov 2015 - 11:02 AM

Tasmania's constitution should be amended to recognise Aboriginal people as the island's first, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

A report compiled by the Community Development Committee and tabled in parliament on Tuesday noted that 2016 marks the state's 160th anniversary of self-government and would be an opportunity for "landmark legislation" to be enacted.

"The committee received arguments for and against constitutional recognition but the weight of evidence was in favour," the report findings read.

Committee chairman, Senator Guy Barnett also acknowledged that his fellow committee members acknowledged “that strong sense of injustice over past wrongs endures among many Aboriginal Tasmanians to this day”.

The committee found that the wording of the amendment should be developed in consultation with Tasmania's Aboriginal people and the state community.

However, the parliamentary group added, it should be kept short.

"A concise and carefully worded amendment would be more likely to be embraced by the community than a more expansionary amendment."

The committee received submissions from 14 groups and individuals and heard verbal evidence during public hearings.

Positive and proactive engagement across the Tasmanian community should be key to reconciliation, the report noted.

An amendment to the state constitution does not require a referendum, but needs backing by a majority in both houses of the Tasmanian parliament.