If elected later this month, a NSW Coalition government would make NSW the only state or territory with no commitments on the table for Treaty or land return promises for First Nations people.
Greens candidate for the Upper House and Wiradjuri Badu woman Lynda-June Coe said: “The NSW Government is completely apathetic towards progressing the Uluru Statement from the Heart and doesn’t want to progress on self determination for First Nations communities in NSW.
“The Coalition has constantly claimed that they want the best for First Nations peoples and that they are progressing the recommendations from the Closing the Gap report but they are failing on all fronts and we don’t need their paternalism.
“We need a Government that takes the injustices of the past seriously and will work with First Nations communities to achieve what we know we need to deliver solutions.”
“A treaty or treaties will take longer than one term of government, so there needs to be a body that will ensure the process carries on regardless of electoral politics. Colonial ideas of small representation in consultation or short time frames so things need to be rushed through won’t be good enough if the process is going to be genuine,” Ms Coe said.
Greens MP Sue Higginson and spokesperson for First Nations Justice said: “The NSW Coalition says they support work towards a Treaty or treaties “in principle” but we don’t need theoretical support. First Nations peoples and all communities need Truth, Treaty and Voice.
“They need a Government that is ready to take on the mistakes and truth of the past and put all of us on a path to true reconciliation.
“Australia and every other state and territory are having conversations right now about what a Treaty or treaties process needs to do. Now is the time to be having a National conversation that recognises all states and territories have a role to play in establishing a Treaty or treaties with the First Nations peoples of this country.
“The number of First Nations people killed in custody or during police operations last year was twice as many as ever before.
“It is disgusting and disgraceful that the Coalition would look at those deaths and just continue with business as usual, with zero recognition for the need to change how colonial institutions are treating First Nations peoples.
“Truth, Treaty and Voice need to be processes that are above the political fray because they are a genuine commitment to a years long discussion where First Nations peoples are recognised as sovereign peoples with a right to self determination as the traditional custodians of the lands and sea.
“The NSW Coalition has consistently failed to meet its own targets on closing the gap and it’s clear that their policy settings are failing.
“They need to open their ears and listen to First Nations peoples and what they want and need,” Ms Higginson said.
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