On Wednesday 24th October, United Nations Day, the Victorian Greens have announced their treaty election commitment, saying the process must deliver on the human rights of Aboriginal people, particularly those outlined in the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Lidia Thorpe, Gunnai-Gunditjmara women and Victorian Greens Spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs will announce the comprehensive package, which includes a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission for truth telling and healing about the past, and justice for today and future generations. It also includes a commitment to amend the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities to include Aboriginal Self-Determination as a Principle.
The Greens treaty election platform includes commitment to:
- Amend the treaty legislation to ensure it recognises the sovereignty of the Clans and First Nations over this land.
- Fight for true self-determination, cultural respect and justice in all processes, representative bodies, and in establishing the Treaty Negotiating Framework.
- Amend the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities to specify a new principle that recognises the right to self-determination for Aboriginal people of Victoria, to help strengthen the process.
- Provide $40 million to establish a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission to finally allow Aboriginal people to reveal the full truth about their history.
- Advocate for and support Clans and Nations to be at the heart of the treaty process, including sitting on the Aboriginal Representative Body. We will provide $25 million over the next four years for the operation of the body and for it to carry out wide consultation on the treaty framework.
- Introduce a moratorium on sale of surplus Crown Land and Government Owned Freehold land for private sale, so that this land is available for treaty negotiations.
- Provide $5 million over the next four years to ensure the Elders Council is properly established, recognised in the legislation, and carries out its critical role of cultural oversight of the process.
- Provide $3 million to establish the Truth Telling Museum, a black political history Museum in Fitzroy.
- Provide $5 million for cultural identity mapping to enable clan genealogy to be fully traced.
Together, these actions will ensure the treaty truly delivers peace, justice and healing for the First Peoples of this land.
Quotes attributable to Lidia Thorpe:
"On this day, we remind the government that the treaty process must restore the human rights of Aboriginal people. I will help ensure this happens by amending the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsbilities to include Aboriginal self-determination."
"A Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission is essential to acknowledge the truth and allow Aboriginal people heal from the past. It is also necessary to help the Victorian community understand why we need treaties with Victoria's First Peoples."
"Roughly 43 Countries have held Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commissions in recent decades to investigate the actions of the government and others when great harms have been done and provide some peace for survivors. With a treaty process underway in Victoria, there can be no better time for us to reveal the true history of our past and act to address it."
"Victoria has the opportunity to set the bar for Treaty negotiations in Australia, and although the Greens welcome Labor's willingness to begin the process, the current plan has serious flaws. By amending the legislation to recognise First Nations sovereignty, we will put the state's Aboriginal Clans at the centre of Treaty Negotiations."