Aboriginal recognition in Tasmanian Constitution
Opposition Aboriginal Affairs spokeswoman Madeleine Ogilvie has prepared a private member’s Bill which seeks to amend the state constitution to recognise Aborigines as ‘Tasmania’s first peoples’ and ‘traditional owners and occupants’. The Bill also recognises the importance of Aboriginal ‘spiritual, social, cultural and heritage beliefs, languages and laws’ and their ‘unique and irreplaceable contribution to the State’. The Bill has the backing of the Opposition Labor caucus and discussions with the government are ongoing in an attempt to develop a bipartisan position. However, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre chief executive Heather Sculthorpe and Aboriginal activist Michael Mansell have described the plan as a wasted exercise if the amendments do not lead to the creation of additional rights or impose obligations on the government.
- Category: DUAO - 2015 - Vol 40(1)