The Ngunnawal language will be used to formally introduce the beginning of each Legislative Assembly sitting day after a Greens motion was passed on Thursday, ending a jam-packed final sitting week for 2019.
The motion received unanimous support after being co-sponsored by Shane Rattenbury (Greens), Rachel Stephen-Smith (Labor) and James Milligan (Liberals). The motion became the first tri-partisan-sponsored motion tabled in the Assembly’s history.
It signifies the Territory’s commitment to reconciliation, according to Green’s leader Mr Rattenbury.
“Across this country, we must acknowledge that First Nation’s People have a unique relationship with the land and water – that their rights and obligations as custodians must be respected – and that sovereignty was never ceded,” he said.
“The nation has a long way to go before we achieve reconciliation, and it’s incumbent on all of us to do what we can to contribute to this important reckoning.”
The Assembly will use Ngunnawal words to formally recognise the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians at the beginning of each sitting day by October 2020.
On Tuesday new legislation was passed which means outlaw motorcycle gangs will face tougher penalties for committing crimes, while people caught fighting near a pub or club could face a 12-month ban from every licensed venue in Canberra.
Gang attacks of more than five people, including the threat of attack, will now carry a maximum punishment of 10-years behind bars, while crimes like manslaughter and assault will carry an extra 10 per cent maximum penalty if the offender is found to have links to a criminal gang.
On Wednesday, self-determination was back on the agenda after the Assembly passed another motion with tri-partisan support calling on the Federal government to allow the Territory to legislate on euthanasia, which is currently prohibited under the ACT’s self-determination legislation. Changes will require amendments to be made by the Federal government.
Labor backbencher Bec Cody also introduced a bill to include workers’ rights in the ACT Human Rights Act. The bill was referred to a committee that will report back by the end of February next year, while the Greens introduced a bill to create a ‘fair fines’ system.
On Thursday, the government’s strata reforms were introduced, which would impose more responsibilities on developers and strengthen owner’s rights, while amendments to building and construction legislation were passed that makes construction company directors personally liable for financial penalties.
The Assembly resumes on 11 February 2020. The election will be held on 17 October 2020.