Authority set to oversee Vic treaty talks

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An independent authority is set to preside over Victoria's treaty negotiations between the state government and First Nations people.

The Treaty Authority Bill, introduced in the Victorian parliament on Tuesday, will give the new body legal powers to oversee treaty talks and resolve any disputes.

It will be led by Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people elected by an independent panel and be grounded in culture, lore and law.

The Victorian government struck a deal with the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria on the design of the authority and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams said it would boost reconciliation efforts.

"The introduction of the Treaty Authority Bill into parliament is another vital step towards treaty and a significant milestone in Victoria's nation-leading efforts to achieve genuine self-determination for Aboriginal Victorians," Ms Williams said.

The treaty "umpire" will sit outside the usual government bureaucracy and will not report to a government minister.

The First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria welcomed the new legislation and said the treaty authority will help ensure negotiations take into consideration more than 60,000 years of Indigenous culture and laws.

"This is about stepping outside of the colonial system," Assembly Co-Chairman and Nira illim bulluk man Marcus Stewart said.

"We've said to government, 'If you're serious about treaty, you'll do it our way', and to their credit, that's what they're doing. This is decolonisation in action."

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said he wants to see the details of the bill and speak to shadow Aboriginal affairs minister Peter Walsh before declaring if the Liberals and Nationals will support it.

"I think that (treaty) is a process that should be managed by elected officials," he said.

The Victorian coalition publicly backed Victoria's treaty negotiations in May after Mr Guy suggested a federal process would "make more sense" before the 2018 state election.

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