Intervew

Victorian Treaty Bill Under Fire From Greens

Greens Victorian MP Lidia Thorpe in Parliament

Sovereignty is the sticking point

We can’t have people… left in community not benefitting or having a stake in the [Treaty] process. Until those corporations and organisations are held accountable by the people they say they represent then we can’t go forward. Lidia Thorpe, MP

Member of Parliament, Victorian Greens

Victorian Greens MP Lidia Thorpe talks to Connection Matters host Charles Pakana about the Greens’ requirements to support Upper House passage of the Treaty Bill.
by Charles Pakana
When asked what would be required by the Greens to support the passage of the legislation in the Victorian Upper House, Ms. Thorpe stated that the “…sticking point is the question of sovereignty, and that’s something that the government and its supporters don’t believe is an important part of the legislation.

“As it stands, the Bill says that aboriginal people maintain they still have sovereignty, which is different to the State actually acknowledging sovereignty.”

Clans need to self-determine

On the issue of clans being at the heart of treaty negotiations, Ms Thorpe believes that individual clans need to self-determine whether they want to participate in the treaty process. 

While she acknowledged that there are some clans that are “happy to negotiate through a nation”, there are some that don’t actually belong to a nation that would represent them. In such cases, the Greens’ concern is that such clans could be excluded.

“As long as it takes”

Ms Thorpe has previously stated that the Greens are prepared to wait until the Government ‘gets it right’. “We can’t have people  left in the community not benefitting or having stake in the process,” she told Charles.

“Until those corporations and organisations are held accountable by the people they say they represent, then we can’t go forward.”

Ms. Thorpe is also highly sceptical of the Victorian Government’s statement that 7,000+ Aboriginal people have been consulted on the process. “I question the integrity of the consultation and the ‘7,000’ they say that have been consulted,” she said.

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