Treaty, yeah!

FREMANTLE council could sign a treaty with local Whadjuk Noongars.

The treaty, which mayor Brad Pettitt said wouldn’t be a formal document and more a “declaration of reconciliation” is floated in an updated Reconciliation Action Plan that’s currently out for consultation.

“We don’t yet know what the document would contain, what the legal complexities might be or how this would affect the operations of the council,” Dr Pettitt said.

“However, the city does believe having some sort of formal recognition of, and agreement with, Fremantle’s traditional owners would be a powerful statement and an important step towards genuine reconciliation.”

The plan also recommends co-naming or re-naming sites around the city to include Aboriginal names, which Dr Pettitt said would be worked out with the Walyalup Reconciliation Group and elders.

Dr Pettitt wouldn’t be drawn on whether this was another example, like the Australia Day debate, of Fremantle trying to prod the federal government into addressing indigenous issues by taking the lead.

Perth council is also exploring a treaty with Aborigines and Freo is planning to keep an eye on how it progresses.

To check out the RAP and make a comment, head to mysay.fremantle.wa.gov.au

by STEVE GRANT

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