The Liberals and Nationals will consider, in detail, the interim report delivered today by the Yoorrook Justice Commission, with consideration to advancing the Treaty process in a way that supports self-determination, reconciliation and Victoria’s commitments on Closing the Gap.
The Yoorrook Justice Commission’s work is central to the truth-telling process, but it must go hand in hand with meaningful action on Closing the Gap targets.
Just last week, another Auditor-General’s report offered a scathing assessment of Victoria’s failures to improve outcomes for vulnerable Indigenous children in child protection.
Victoria’s persistently high rate of young Aboriginal Victorians in state care is nearly double the national average.
There are 103 in every 1000 young Aboriginal Victorians in public care, compared to a rate of 4.7 per 1000 for non-Indigenous children.
It’s one of several key indicators where Victoria is still failing to better the lives of Indigenous Victorians by delivering better outcomes in health, education and employment opportunities.
While the Andrews Labor Government is engaging in advancing Treaty and the truth-telling inquiry, they have not clearly articulated how they intend to meet Victoria’s other existing commitments.
Treaty is deeply personal, meaning that the road to achieving it will be different things to all people.
But we will not move forward to deliver better outcomes for all Indigenous Victorians while the Victorian Government looks at Treaty through a narrow lens, while deliberately evading its responsibilities on Closing the Gap.