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MP says treaty laws won’t reduce rights for non-Indigenous Victorians

Victorian parliament today came one step closer to the creation of an official treaty with the state’s Aboriginal population.

The Advancing the Treaty process bill was introduced by Andrews Government, putting the first steps in place to be able to negotiate a treaty.

Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, told Tom Elliott the treaty is ‘extremely important’ to the Aboriginal people.

“I truly believe that a treaty can present the best opportunity for us to accelerate closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians when it comes to education, health, etc,” she said.

“This treaty will not reduce the existing rights for any Victorian people, what it will do is deliver some additional rights, some respect and protection to Aboriginal culture going forward.”

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The MP also said Victoria has a problem with not enough people identifying as Aboriginal, saying people “tend to hide it because of the stigma which comes with being Aboriginal”.