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NSW Labor commits millions to kickstarting treaty ahead of state election

Jarred Cross -

New South Wales Labor has committed to starting treaty discussions should they win the upcoming state election.

Opposition Leader Chris Minns promised $5 million dollars for consultations with First Nations peoples on an agreement and steps toward "genuine reconciliation".

A YouGov poll published in the Sunday Telegraph shows Labor hold a 12 percent lead on a two-party preferred basis, and a six point primary vote lead over the Liberals, ahead of the state going to the polls in March.

Mr Minns's announcement came on Saturday at Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden.

The pledge is in concert with the majority of states around the country already initiating strategy. Mr Minns described action in NSW as long overdue.

"That conversation with First Nations people must begin," he said.

"We cannot be one of only two states in the entire country that hasn't begun a process to treaty in Australia."

The Labor leader conceded treaty negotiations would present difficulties but stated there is an urgent need for the conversation to begin.

He said First Nations people must be at the centre of decision-making for effective positive change.

The current government and premier Dominic Perrottet have been supportive of a federal Voice to Parliament despite a divided stance across the federal coalition, but are yet to formally identify plans for a state-based treaty.

NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin has regularly pointed to the hundreds of millions injected into initiatives empowering Indigenous communities as a sign of his government's commitment to First Nations people.


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