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Fact Check: Treaty tax exemption claim is total trash

Kate Atkinson -

WHAT WAS CLAIMED

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan announced Aboriginal people will be exempt from state taxes.

OUR VERDICT

False. The premier has made no such announcement.

An Australian state leader has supposedly announced that all Indigenous people will no longer have to pay taxes, according to posts on social media.

This is false. Premier of Victoria Jacinta Allan has not made any such announcement, and posts have misinterpreted comments she made at a press conference.

The claim has been shared widely on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) as the state government prepares to start treaty talks with Indigenous peoples this year.

"Socialist Premier of Victoria, Jacinta Allen [sic] has announced that Aboriginals in Victoria will be exempt from all State taxes," says one post.

"So now it is time for all Victorians to declare themselves as indigenous and demand exemption from State taxes."

Facebook post of a Jacinta Allen tweet with a red cross through it

A Facebook post featuring an X post of the false claim.

However, the posts have misrepresented Ms Allan's comments made about the treaty process at a press conference in Melbourne on April 9, 2024.

A journalist asked Ms Allan about Indigenous leader Dr Jill Gallagher's keynote speech at a Statewide Treaty Gathering on April 6.

At the event, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation chief executive listed 10 things she says must be part of a treaty.

Among them, she proposed Aboriginal people be exempt from land tax, council rates and tertiary education fees.

A reporter then asked the premier if she would consider Dr Gallagher's call for a land tax exemption.

A smoking ceremony on the steps of Victorian Parliament in Melbourne

Misinformation is spreading ahead of treaty negotiations this year.

Ms Allan said she hadn't seen the speech, but the issue and a range of others will be up for discussion with Victoria's First Peoples' Assembly.

"We are going through a treaty process and out of respect to the negotiations that will commence … this and a whole range of other matters will be put on the table for negotiation," the premier told reporters.

"So I'm not going to engage in a separate negotiation through the media with treaty representatives, that would be highly inappropriate and disrespectful to the treaty process."

The premier's spokeswoman told AAP FactCheck the social media claims are incorrect, saying the government isn't ruling anything in or out before treaty talks begin.

THE VERDICT

The claim that Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan announced Aboriginal people will be exempt from state taxes is false.

Ms Allan said that an Indigenous leader's call for a state land tax exemption for the state's First Nations peoples is the type of issue that will likely be part of treaty talks.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

Kate Atkinson - AAP FactCheck

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