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Reconciliation Bill 2001 [2004]

Part 1 Preliminary

   

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Reconciliation Act 2001 .

2   Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

ATSIC means the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission appointed under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989 .

Commissioner means the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, appointed under the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 .

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation is the Council established under the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991 .

human rights means the rights and freedoms recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and such other instruments relating to human rights as the Commissioner considers relevant.

HREOC means the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, established under the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 .

reconciliation refers to the achievement of a united Australia which respects this land of ours, values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and provides justice and equity for all.

unresolved issues for reconciliation means any issue, whether already identified or identified through the processes of this Act, that is an impediment to achieving reconciliation until it is addressed, including but not limited to the following:

                     (a)  the recognition of the right to equality;

                     (b)  the protection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  culture, heritage and intellectual property;

                     (c)  the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customary law;

                     (d)  a comprehensive agreements process for the settlement of native title and other land claims;

                     (e)  regional autonomy; and

                      (f)  constitutional recognition.

4  Objects

                   The objects of this Act are to:

                     (a)  further advance reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all other Australians; and

                     (b)  acknowledge the progress towards reconciliation and recognise that there are unresolved issues that impede the achievement of reconciliation; and

                     (c)  recognise the unique status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s first peoples; and

                     (d)  establish processes to identify and resolve the unresolved issues for reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian community; and

                     (e)  initiate a negotiation process to resolve unresolved issues for reconciliation at the national level, that will result in an agreement or treaty which will unite all Australians; and

                      (f)  establish a process for reporting on the nation’s future progress toward reconciliation.