Treaty documents hidden from public view

By Deanne Jeffers

DOCUMENTS related to the planned Victorian Treaty Agreement will be kept from the public eye for 30 years. This decision followed a request from Gabrielle Williams, the Minister for Government Services, to move four specific documents away from public access in March 2024.

During parliamentary question time last week, Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell, Member for Northern Victoria, expressed concerns about this move. She pointed out that the Minister had declared these documents, related to the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission, inaccessible to the public until 2054, a period of 30 years.

Tyrrell emphasised that the creation of a Treaty in Victoria could stir up controversy, especially if the government appears to be hiding vital information. She sought clarification on why these documents were being kept from the public until 2054.

“The formulation of a planned Treaty in Victoria has the potential to be very divisive within the Victorian community,” she said. “This will particularly be the case if Victorians see that important information is purposely being hidden from them by the State Government.”

Expressing opposition to the Treaty’s formation, Tyrrell criticised the Labor party for deliberately concealing these documents. She stressed the importance of transparency, urging the Minister to reconsider this decision for the benefit of Victorians.

“The result of the Voice referendum in my electorate was a resounding No and for Labor to be hiding important documents regarding a Victorian Treaty from public scrutiny for 30 years is unacceptable,” Tyrrell said.

Ms Williams office was contacted for comment and no response was received by the time of publishing.