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Victoria passes Australia’s first Aboriginal Treaty Bill

A big step in the right direction. 

After years in the making and in consultation with more than 7,500 Indigenous Victorians, this historic bill will see a representative elected by mid-2019, who will design a treaty negotiation framework to make agreements with the Indigenous community official. 

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Natalie Hutchins explained the goal of the treaty, saying that it will “have benefits for all Victorians – promoting reconciliation, fostering shared pride in Aboriginal culture and helping to heal the wounds of the past”.

As it is being described as a step in the right direction for the recognition and validation of Indigenous Australians, not everyone is thrilled with the passing of the bill. The coalition saying that the treaty should be delivered on a national level instead, and Liberal MP Bernie Finn saying that the treaty is more likely to create ‘fodder for lawyers’ over anything else.

It follows a steady push for further recognition of Indigenous Australians throughout the state, with councils scrapping January 26 citizenship ceremonies earlier this year. 

The bill will hit the Legislative Assembly next month when parliament resumes in late July before being signed off by the governor.