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Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian government decides against process towards Aboriginal Treaty

Kyam Maher started the treaty process as Aboriginal affairs minister and is now Labor’s spokesman for the portfolio.

“For far, far too long, policymakers have been doing things to Aboriginal people, not with Aboriginal people.”

A “massive amount of work” had been put in by Aboriginal people towards a treaty, he said.

He said the Premier had done “very, very little consultation” on the issue.

“To decide unilaterally without consultation to not go ahead with the most important reform process in Aboriginal affairs that we’re undertaking, I think there will be a lot of anger and it will be very difficult for the new government to operate with Aboriginal communities … letting them down in this way,” he said.

Yesterday, the Lower House of Victoria’s Parliament voted in favour of negotiating Australia’s first Aboriginal treaty, after the state’s Labor Government won crucial support from the Greens.

SA Government decides not to go ahead with Aboriginal treaties http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/sa-govt-decides-not-to-go-ahead-with-aboriginal-treaty/9851166  The South Australian Government has scrapped a process to negotiate treaties with the state’s Aboriginal nations.

It comes on the same day the Northern Territory pledged to work towards a treaty with its Indigenous peoples.

Premier Steven Marshall said his government was instead in the process of developing a “state-wide plan with a series defined outcomes for Aboriginal people across areas including education, child protection, health and jobs”.

“Treaty commissioner Roger Thomas has provided advice to the incoming government regarding the positives and negatives of the treaty consultation,” Mr Marshall, who is also Aboriginal Affairs Minister, said.

“While the new government is not continuing with the treaty process, we are committed to continuing our discussions with Aboriginal communities about the implementation of our Aboriginal affairs policy.”

The previous Labor government announced that it would enter treaty discussions with Aboriginal nations in 2016. 

It appointed senior Aboriginal community leader Roger Thomas as treaty commissioner last year and in February the government signed an agreement with the Yorke Peninsula’s Narungga people as the state’s first step towards a treaty with an Aboriginal group.

In April this year, Mr Marshall, as incoming premier, asked Mr Thomas to prepare a report on his consultation.

Report suggested way for government to proceed

Mr Thomas today said that Aboriginal people had told him they were keen to start a conversation on a treaty but “overwhelmingly” preferred to negotiate separately as nations rather than collectively.

However, this could slow down the process, he said.

“It would be a long-term aspiration,” he said.

“They were very clear on that,” he told the ABC.

Mr Thomas’s report recommended asking for expressions of interest from the Aboriginal nations to start negotiations.

Kyam Maher started the treaty process as Aboriginal affairs minister and is now Labor’s spokesman for the portfolio.

“For far, far too long, policymakers have been doing things to Aboriginal people, not with Aboriginal people.”

A “massive amount of work” had been put in by Aboriginal people towards a treaty, he said.

He said the Premier had done “very, very little consultation” on the issue.

“To decide unilaterally without consultation to not go ahead with the most important reform process in Aboriginal affairs that we’re undertaking, I think there will be a lot of anger and it will be very difficult for the new government to operate with Aboriginal communities … letting them down in this way,” he said.

Yesterday, the Lower House of Victoria’s Parliament voted in favour of negotiating Australia’s first Aboriginal treaty, after the state’s Labor Government won crucial support from the Greens.

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June 8, 2018 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia

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