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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23288


Ms PLIBERSEK (1:49 PM) —I would like to share with the House some great news that we have had from our colleagues at the Australian National General Assembly of Local Government. Recently in Albury there was a meeting that adopted unopposed the motion:

That the Australian Local Government Association calls on the Australian federal government to incorporate the words `I recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners of the land on which I stand' into the affirmation and oath of the Australia citizenship pledge after the words `from this time forward' in the affirmation, and after the words `from this time forward under God' in the oath.

I think it is a terrific step forward that the Local Government Association, representing the mayors and local councillors that are so integral to the process of citizenship, that host the citizenship functions that most often confer citizenship upon the recipients of Australia citizenship, should recognise the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prior ownership of the land on which we stand. I certainly hope that the government will take note of the Local Government Association's wish in this area. This was brought to my attention by the Deputy Mayor of Ku-ring-gai Council, Ian de Vulder, and I would certainly praise his work and in particular the work of the New South Wales Local Government Aboriginal Network and the conference that they had in October 2002 in Ballina. (Time expired)