Nile said the bill would “greatly further the legislative conversation towards self-determination and most importantly an Indigenous Voice in parliament”.
After Greenwich ushered through two divisive bills – the decriminalization of abortion and the legalization of voluntary assisted dying – Nile asked Greenwich to join him in supporting his bill in the lower house.
“Reverend Nile and I hope to demonstrate that people across the political spectrum can work together to achieve meaningful steps towards reconciliation and self-determination for our First Nations people,” Greenwich said.
“True reconciliation is not only about apologizing for past wrongs, but preventing future ones from happening, and that principle is at the heart of this bill,” he said.
“I’ll work with Reverend Nile, the government, and all members of parliament this term to advance self-determination and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.”
Indigenous leader Roy Ah-See said NSW was the only jurisdiction in Australia that did not have laws to protect Aboriginal culture and heritage.
“The Culture is Identity Bill closes that gap. That is why I am supporting this landmark legislation,” Ah-see said.
NSW Aboriginal Land Council chair Danny Chapman said current NSW laws to manage and protect Aboriginal culture and heritage were “outdated, inadequate and long-overdue”.
“For many decades [we] have called on the NSW parliament and the NSW government to pursue robust new legislation to better protect Aboriginal culture and heritage in NSW and include Aboriginal people in decision-making processes,” Chapman said.
However, he said NSW remained the only state to continue to manage Aboriginal culture and heritage through flora and fauna legislation under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
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