- by theguardian
- 30 Nov 2022
Victoria will become the first Australian jurisdiction to begin negotiating treaties with First Nations groups next year, after a historic deal was brokered to allow traditional owners to enter into interim agreements during negotiations.
Under the framework, traditional owner groups with competing stakes over land would be required to form a single delegation before entering into negotiations with the state government.
Traditional owners will also be able to enter into separate negotiations with the state.
Stewart, a Nira illim bulluk man of the Taungurung nation, said the treaty framework would redefine the power relationship between First Nations people and the state government.
Stewart said the framework signified the state government stepping back on managing Indigenous affairs, but would not reduce its service-delivery responsibilities.
Under the framework, only a single Indigenous delegation will be able to negotiate over an area of land with the state government. This means traditional owner groups with competing stakes over land will be required to form a combined delegation.
The May state budget included $151m over four years to support elements of the treaty process. But further investments for the fund will be subject to negotiations between the assembly and the government.