The Greens will vote in support of the treaty legislation before Victorian Parliament tomorrow after the Government introduced key amendments, but will continue to push for further changes.
By
Rachael Hocking

6 Jun 2018 - 3:27 PM  UPDATED 6 Jun 2018 - 3:57 PM

The historic Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorian Bill 2018 is expected to pass Victorian Parliament tomorrow with the support of the Greens, who had pushed for changes to the legislation.

But Greens MP Lidia Thorpe will continue pushing for additional amendments in the Upper House, including the inclusion of a clause outlining that a treaty would not diminish the sovereign status of clans, and a change to the preamble which explains the Government's recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty. 

"The Greens are pleased by Labor's willingness to negotiate and welcome these important changes, however, I'm disappointed that the Government will not recognise the sovereignty of the Clans of Victoria in the legislation," Ms Thorpe said. 

"It's not just about respect, it's about protecting our legal and human rights."

It comes after the government agreed to amendments to its bill following objections from some Indigenous Victorians and the Greens.

The government on Tuesday issued amendments in a bid to get Greens support, including putting a definition of 'treaty' in the bill, defining Traditional Owners and requiring that they form part of the Aboriginal Representative Body.

The amendments also guarantee the independence of the Treaty Authority, and the government has indicated support for an Elders Council, but do not specify who will represent Aboriginal Victorians or restrict or determine what will be included in any treaty.

But they do not specify who will represent Aboriginal Victorians or restrict or determine what will be included in any treaty.

Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins said the Government looks forward to the bill passing the Legislative Assembly. 

“We now call on the Liberals and Nationals to join us to make sure this is a unifying step, one that brings the state together and helps to achieve reconciliation with our First Peoples," Ms Hutchins said. 

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