A NSW Treaty would not only recognise the facts of history, and acknowledge the wrongs of the past, but help to put things right for the future.
The dispossession of our Indigenous people, its inherent injustice and its ongoing consequences, is the oldest continuing problem in our society.
We have made progress towards reconciliation, including official recognition in the NSW Constitution under Premier Kristina Keneally in 2010.
An elected Labor Government will take the next step and establish a Treaty process in NSW, in consultation and negotiation with the state’s Indigenous representatives.
Treaties with Indigenous communities have been reached in Canada and New Zealand, and Victoria and South Australia are already proceeding with their own negotiations.
The contents of a Treaty would be determined by negotiation, but could cover such things as the recognition of historic wrongs, an agreement of how services like health and education are provided, economic development opportunities and language rights.
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council’s strategic plan commits it to “work towards establishing Treaty process in NSW.”
A Treaty is a fitting way to honestly acknowledge the past, but more importantly, to create a meaningful way forward, to make a practical difference for the health, education and employment of Indigenous Australians in NSW.