Labor will take first steps on pathway to treaty

As NSW approaches NAIDOC week, newly elected NSW Labor Leader Jodi Mckay has affirmed NSW Labor’s commitment to a treaty with Aboriginal people and will begin consultation with Aboriginal communities across NSW to work out the best pathway to a treaty.

NSW Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris will consult with Aboriginal communities, experts, and other stakeholders to decide the procedures that a future NSW Labor Government would take to treaty negotiations.

This will include listening to Aboriginal communities across the state as well as drawing on best practice and models being applied across other jurisdictions.

Aboriginal people must play a leading role in determining whatever process takes shape.

The treaty process has been progressing well in Victoria. However, the existence of bodies and institutions such as Local Aboriginal Land Councils across NSW means that the Victorian model could not be applied as easily in NSW.

Any final decision on the treaty process will require significant input from stakeholders across the State including elders, peak bodies and local groups.

Ms McKay said: “It’s time for our state to begin the path to a treaty, and to put genuine reconciliation with the Aboriginal peoples of NSW back on the agenda.

Mr Harris said: “Treaty will be a key plank of NSW Labor’s policy platform and will be a historic agreement for the Government of NSW and for all NSW citizens.

“I’ve been proud to have been working towards a treaty as Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and look forward to working with Aboriginal people throughout NSW, Jodi, and the rest of my caucus colleagues to begin building a framework that we can implement in Government.”

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