Aboriginal delegation to demand land hand-backs from Tasmanian Premier Gutwein

Nala Mansell of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre says an Aboriginal delegation will meet with Premier Peter Gutwein.
Nala Mansell of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre says an Aboriginal delegation will meet with Premier Peter Gutwein.

An Aboriginal delegation will meet with Premier Peter Gutwein in Launceston on Friday to discuss the prospect of future land hand-backs.

The last time land was returned to Tasmania's traditional owners was in 1995, when the Aboriginal Land Act was passed and the premier of the day, Ray Groom, returned 12 sites - equating to 3800 hectares - to the Aboriginal community.

These included putalina / Oyster Cove and piyura kitina / Risdon Cove.

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre campaign coordinator Nala Mansell said representatives of the community had met with Mr Gutwein last year but "no actions have come about from that meeting".

"We've got a delegation of six Aboriginal people meeting with the Premier," Ms Mansell said.

"We're hopeful that the Premier might be willing to work with us to advance Aboriginal rights. We haven't seen anything from him so far.

"We know that he hasn't been willing to offer anything to the Aboriginal community so we're not going in asking for much.

"We're hoping that he will agree to some type of land return for Aboriginal people.

"But we are also prepared to take direct action beginning immediately after the Premier's meeting if he refuses."

Ms Mansell did not elaborate on what form that action might take.

We're hoping that he will agree to some type of land return for Aboriginal people.

Nala Mansell, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre campaign coordinator

"We've got a map and we'll have the tiny little dots drawn on the map of the lands that we're asking to have returned, reminding [the Premier] that 200 years ago we owned 100 per cent of Tasmania and now own less than 1 per cent and really urging him to stand up to the plate and start committing to resetting the wrongdoings of the past and resetting his relationship with the Aboriginal community by committing to returning some of our stolen lands," she said.

Mr Gutwein said he didn't wish to preempt his discussions with the Aboriginal delegation.

"I welcome the opportunity to discuss issues of importance to Aboriginal communities and what more the government can do to help," he said.

The meeting will take place at noon on Friday.

This story Aboriginal delegation to demand land hand-backs first appeared on The Advocate.