The Tasmanian Government wants to change the Aboriginal Lands Act 1995, which will change the way land is managed, who and how we elect the council members for the Aboriginal Lands Council Tasmania, and how land is returned.
They are asking for feedback, and the consultation about the changes ends on Sunday, 24 July.
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is hearing the main issues to the changes put forward by the Government are:
- Revisions to Aboriginal Land Council Tasmania (ALCT) Elections
- The community does not want any revisions to the ALCT elections.
- The current process allows Aboriginal people to challenge anyone applying to get on the roll who is not Aboriginal. Anyone challenged must prove their eligibility through an Aboriginal Panel appointed by the Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner. This is the most appropriate, transparent, and fair process.
- If anyone applies for anything else, such as employment benefits or getting a driver’s licence, they must prove who they are. This process should not be any different.
- A land management role for local or regional Aboriginal community organisations.
- Aboriginal land managers who look after Aboriginal land, are experienced, and have the deep knowledge and expertise to care for our country and its resources.
- We should be caring for country in a united way to maintain cultural resources and access for all Aboriginal people.
- Identification of land suitable for transfer
- All lands across lutruwita are equally significant to all Aboriginal people. The Tasmanian Aboriginal community has said they want to see the return of any (preferably all) Crown Lands to Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
- Governance issues
- ALCT is collective and inclusive ownership model and community members are part of its governance, unlike other organisations. In other organisations, rights are only given to members on their list, it is exclusive and any transfer of land to these organisations will exclude Aboriginal people across Tasmania.
The Aboriginal community must decide how land is returned and managed.
Email the Government to tell them what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
A template to help you get started with your submission has been prepared based on the concerns. You can download the below word document to add your thoughts and concerns before emailing it to the Government.
For more information about the review visit the website at: Aboriginal Lands Act | Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (nre.tas.gov.au)