• Greens MP Lidia Thorpe has submitted a series of amendments to Victoria's Treaty bill being debated. (AAP)
Victoria is following in the footsteps of New Zealand and Canada in seeking a treaty between the government and Aboriginal people.
5 Jun 2018 - 11:26 AM  UPDATED 5 Jun 2018 - 2:29 PM

The bill, expected to be debated from Tuesday evening, was introduced to parliament in March, with Traditional Owners sitting alongside the state's political leaders in the Legislative Assembly.

The plan is to establish a representative body made up of 30 Traditional Owners, who will design a negotiations framework and create a fund to support groups who seek treaties with the state by mid-2019.

The Greens, along with some Indigenous Victorians, had criticised the government's approach and have submitted amendments.

Now, the Victorian government has indicated it will amend the bill in a bid to get it over the line.

Victorian government Amendments

The Victorian government says its own amendments will 'strike the balance' for everyone.

"Treaty is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate Aboriginal culture and history, and to right the wrongs of the past. This legislation will enshrine a process into law," Aboriginal Affairs Minister Natalie Hutchins said in a statement.

"These amendments get the balance right. We will not tell the Aboriginal Victorian community who will represent them or what should or should not be included in a Treaty."

Watch: Where are Treaty negotiations at?

The amendments seek to include a definition of Treaty in the bill, define who Traditional Owners are and require that the Aboriginal Representative Body is comprised of Traditional Owners.

They also guarantee the independence of the Treaty Authority. The government has indicated support for an Elders Council, in accordance with the recommendations of the Community Assembly.

Greens Northcote MP Lidia Thorpe has been pushing for a clan-based approach to Treaty.   

However, the amendments do not specify who will represent Aboriginal Victorians or restrict or determine what will be included in Treaty.

The Greens will discuss the amendments in their party room on Tuesday and have until Thursday to respond.

The bill will be debated on Tuesday afternoon, flagged from 4pm.

AAP

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