The Liberals and Nationals do not support the Treaty process in Victoria

Liberal Party Victoria

The Allan Labor Government has refused to rule out handing over compulsorily acquired private property to Indigenous groups and creating designated Indigenous seats in State Parliament as part of their path to Treaty.

Under direct questioning at the Public Accounts and Estimate Committee hearing on the Treaty process, the Minister for Treaty and First Peoples, Natalie Hutchins, declined to exclude both possibilities.

“I am not going to be ruling anything in or out,” Ms Hutchins said.

Ms Hutchins also dodged questions on the budget allocation of $41 million to enable increased traditional owner access to water and larger input into decision making on water.

When asked how much of this money would be used to buy water for traditional owners, Ms Hutchins could not answer the question.

The relevant Department spokesman also failed to answer, before the buck was passed to the Minister for Water, Harriet Shing.

Aboriginal Affairs was put into the Premier’s department so it could work across government, instead it has been bogged down by bureaucracy, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Peter Walsh, said.

“We should have received answers today, instead a Minister who is meant to represent the interests of Victorian Aboriginal people hid behind the ‘that’s not in my portfolio’ excuse,” Mr Walsh said.

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