Legislative Council: Wednesday, May 18, 2022



The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:33): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on the topic of Treaty.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: In the previous government, in April 2017, a Treaty consultation paper was distributed under the auspices of the then Treaty commissioner and on behalf of the then minister and government about Treaty. It asked the questions: do you want a treaty, should there be a single treaty for all Aboriginal South Australians or multiple treaties with different groups, and what are your ideas about what could happen next?

My question to the minister is: will this Malinauskas government be reinvigorating that particular debate and will there be potential for a single treaty as well as multiple treaties as we progress towards Treaty in this state?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:34): I thank the honourable member for her question. It is a very good question. Certainly, after the statewide consultation to which the honourable member referred the approach that was initially taken by the former government was embarking on negotiations with individual Aboriginal nations as a starting process. I know the government at the time turned its mind to the possibility and the desirability, and perhaps even with a legislative framework around it, of an overarching set of principles or an overarching treaty with Aboriginal South Australians, as well as individual agreements that talked about the responsibilities of government to individual nations.

Certainly, that is much more consistent with the approach that has since been taken in Victoria that have started on the treaty process. In response to the honourable member's questions, of course, what we do from here on in will be informed by what we have done in the past, but it will also be informed by what's happened interstate and by some of the thinking that was around even at the time before about the possibilities, whether it is legislative framework or an overarching agreement as well as individual treaties with individual nations.