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Victorian premier to front truth-telling inquiry

Adrian Black -

Victoria's premier will face the state's historic truth-telling inquiry after the state government rejected three interim recommendations.

Premier Jacinta Allan will give evidence at the Yoorrook Justice Commission as it sits in Melbourne on Monday.

It will be the first time the premier has appeared before the commission.

The hearing had been scheduled to take place at the site of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Mission near Healesville, but has been moved to Melbourne.

Yoorrook is Australia's first truth-telling inquiry and is part of Victoria's treaty process.

Formal truth-telling processes have been held in more than 30 other countries including Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Following the inquiry's second interim report in September, the Victorian government has accepted 28 of 46 recommendations, is considering 15 more, and has rejected three outright.

The three rejected recommendations related to increasing the legal age of criminal liability to at least 14 and the minimum age of detention to 16, changing bail laws to reduce deaths in custody, and changes to the Charter of Human Rights.

Human Rights Law Centre managing lawyer Monique Hurley, who has given evidence at the commission, said the government had dismissed an opportunity.

"The Victorian government must act on the evidence heard by Yoorrook and properly support the transformational change of the criminal legal system called for by Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations," Ms Hurley said in early April.

Witnesses to the commission last week included Water Minister Harriet Shing and Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio.

Ms D'Ambrosio revealed that no royalties for an estimated $287.4 billion in gold mined in the state since colonisation had gone to traditional owners.

Yoorrook will hand down its final report in 2025.

Adrian Black - AAP



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