Labor Treaty Policy Hoped To Benefit Indigenous Coasties

Contingent on 2019 election

Labor Treaty Policy Hoped To Benefit Indigenous Coasties Michael Coghlan

New South Wales Labor has promised it'll enter a treaty with Aboriginal people if elected to govern in 2019.

It's got big significance for closing the gap between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Coasties, with our region home to the state's fourth largest Aboriginal population.

Shadow Aboriginal Affairs Minister and Wyong MP David Harris says it'll look to improve on the gains in education, health and economics already made by the hard work of groups like Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council.

"Darkinjung [representatives] have taught me a lot about what needs to be done and some of the problems standing in the way of them doing even more than they are now," Mr Harris said.

"There's always room for improvement and a treaty will certainly help them in their operations."

Mr Harris notes the policy comes as there are significant issues with the current mechanisms for traditional owners to manage land in New South Wales, set out by the state's Native Title Act.

“Many claims are still waiting to be determined, some for more than 30 years,” he said.

“So part of any treaty would be around how that process can work better and how Aboriginal people will be able to achieve economic development out of land management.

“It’s about not just giving land to Aboriginal people but how the whole state can benefit from that.”

Darkinjung LALC CEO, Sean Gordon has been contacted for comment.

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