Victorian government

A meeting of 500 First Nations representatives voted on February 3 to reject Constitutional recognition and to begin talks on self-determination and a treaty with the Victorian government.

The proposed treaty would be a legal document covering Aboriginal affairs and services and addressing past injustices. It would be the first such agreement in Australia and follows similar arrangements with First Peoples in Canada, the US and New Zealand.

Dja Dja Warrung elder Gary Murray said the national debate around Constitutional recognition was just "a distraction".

The Victorian government has fined three conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre who entered a logging coupe to document illegal rainforest logging. They were each fined $440 for entering a “timber harvesting safety zone”.

In April the three entered an area being harvested by VicForests to investigate concerns that rules designed to protect vulnerable plant communities were being flouted by the government logging corporation.

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