27 September 2017 

Land Rights peak calls for Treaty with Aboriginal peoples in NSW 

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) will today call for both sides of State politics in New South Wales to progress the signing of a treaty between government and the First Peoples of New South Wales. 

NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See said the call for a treaty is a central part of the peak Land Rights body's Strategic Plan which was released for consultation today at a Black Parliament event in Sydney. 

Cr Ah-See said the State's First Peoples were eager to start the conversation about a treaty. 

"As a delegate to the First Nations National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in May, I heard a clear message that our people are ready to take the next steps which we believe should lead to a Treaty in New South Wales. 

"Today is not about prescribing a model for a Treaty but the start of a conversation - at community level with our membership, with Aboriginal peoples and with all sides of politics." 

"The process towards a Treaty also represents a chance to heal the past and build on the constructive relationship between the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and government. 

"A Treaty is a practical way for New South Wales to deepen Aboriginal participation in the economy and the broader community." 

Cr Ah-See said the draft Strategic Plan was a critical moment in NSWALC's history. 

"This year we celebrate 40 years of Land Rights in New South Wales. In that time we have secured Australia's best Land Rights system, consolidated our gains, acquired land and amassed a membership of more than 23,000 people. 

"The Strategic Plan kicks off an exciting phase where we leverage land for economic benefit and lead by example through greater involvement in land development and construction, social and affordable housing and employment brokerage. 

"This blueprint builds on the demands made at the NSW Aboriginal Land Council's formation at the Black Theatre in Redfern back in 1977. 

"To the demands for the full-scale recognition of Aboriginal rights to land we add a new demand - for a Treaty." 

Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291