The Discussion Paper: Improving the model for returning land to the Aboriginal community, was released for broader public comment and consultation (for a six week period) from 9 August to 20 September 2018 with an extension until January 2019.
During this consultation period, Communities Tasmania received 151 public submissions in response to the Discussion Paper: Improving the model for returning land to the Aboriginal community. The responses were from 115 individual members of the public; from Aboriginal community organisations 104 in total; seven from non-government organisations; five from individual Councils; and two from Tasmanian political parties. In addition, comments were received from 11 Government Agencies.
Of the 115 individual submissions, four came from people identifying as an Aboriginal person and/or member of an Aboriginal community in Tasmania.
There was a general view among submissions that the current model needed improvements such as the government should return more land, either as part of the review, or instead of it expanding the understanding of land.
All Australian jurisdictions, apart from Tasmania, provide for a broad understanding of Aboriginal land in their legislation.
Specific examples should be provided about how expanding the understanding of ‘land’ could improve ‘health, wellbeing, housing and economic outcomes. For example ‘economic outcomes through tourism activity, fish leases on the water, abalone units and fish quotas would change outcomes for Aboriginal people in their health, wellbeing and housing situations’.
This Report summarises comments, suggestions and ideas outlined in the public submissions received. Some of the suggestions and responses contained in this Report were made and/or supported by multiple submissions, while others were made in a single submission. The Report does not seek to support any particular idea or proposal, nor does it aim to show any preference for specific ideas.