All of us need to understand the true history of NSW and its ongoing impact on First Nations people before we can move forward as a healed state. A Treaty, or Treaties, between the Traditional Owners of the land – the oldest living cultures on earth – and the state that imposed its authority violently upon First Nations people without their consent, has never been negotiated.
In NSW, First Nations people never ceded sovereignty. The Greens will work to develop a comprehensive truth telling and treaty process that delivers self determination for First Nations people, including dedicated representation in the NSW Parliament.
The Greens will work to develop a Truth and Treaty process that delivers self-determination for First Nations people in NSW.
A Treaty is a formal agreement between First Nations people and the NSW Government that acknowledges First Nations sovereignty, protects rights and sets the underlying terms for First Nations people to negotiate with the Government moving forward.
THE GREENS WILL:
- Establish a Truth & Justice Commission
- Establish an Independent Treaty Commission
- Commence a positive referendum process to create dedicated seats for First Nations people in the NSW Parliament
A TREATY PROCESS WILL:
- Determine the standards for how First Nations knowledge, culture and communities can thrive,
- Be built on truth-telling and healing. This means exploring, understanding, and reckoning with our painful past and the impact it continues to have on First Nations people and their cultures, and
- Provide an opportunity for everyone in NSW to celebrate what unites us and tell the story of who we are as a state. It’s a way to own up to our past and be proud of our future.
ESTABLISH A TRUTH & JUSTICE COMMISSION
The Greens will introduce a Truth and Justice Bill which will establish a truth-telling process. This will include creating a First Nations led Truth and Justice Commission that will design and implement this process. The process must be culturally appropriate and resourced to ensure the full participation of First Nations people across all of NSW.
The Commission will map out the pathways for healing. It will address systemic and institutionalised racism and ensure governments are committed to redress, reparations and reconciliation. The Truth and Justice Commission will have power to investigate all matters relevant to First Nations justice including; the Stolen Generations, ongoing forced child removals, First Nations deaths in custody, missing and murdered First Nations women, land theft, the destruction of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and the denial of cultural rights and practices.
The Commission will have the powers of a Royal Commission to hold public hearings, call witnesses under oath and compel evidence.
The Truth and Justice Bill will require the government to implement any recommendations made by the Truth and Justice Commission. The Government will be required to publicly report on its progress achieving reparations and reconciliation.
ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT TREATY COMMISSION
The Greens will introduce a bill to establish an independent Treaty Commission, designed by First Nations people, to develop the terms and operation of a Treaty or treaties between First Nations people in NSW and the NSW Government.
The Treaty Commission will commence and oversee the Treaty process to ensure it will be self-determined and negotiated between First Nations groups.
The Commision will ensure that the framework for Treaty is guided by and based upon the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
COMMENCE A POSITIVE REFERENDUM PROCESS TO CREATE DEDICATED SEATS FOR FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE IN THE NSW PARLIAMENT
Dedicated seats for First Nations people in both houses of the NSW Parliament will enshrine First Nations rights to elect their own representatives. Dedicated representation in Parliament has long been called for by First Nations communities and activists.
The number of seats, the electorates, the model for the election and the establishment of a First Nations electoral roll will be recommended by the Treaty Commission and subject to a referendum.
HOW THE GREENS HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR YOU
In the last parliament, it was the Greens who:
- Fought for and won additional protections against forced child removals of First Nations children
- Assisted families to gain compensation for the Stolen Generations under the New South Wales Stolen Generations Reparations Scheme
- Delivered laws that ensure that First Nations communities benefit from renewable energy projects built on their sovereign land
- Helped secure protection for Waahlu/Mt Panorama sacred Aboriginal site
- Secured amendments to protect cultural fishing from policing
- Established an inquiry into standalone laws that would protect First Nations cultural heritage from destruction