Sydney needs: Justice for First Nations

We will work in partnership with Traditional Owners and the strong and diverse First Nations communities and organisations that make Sydney their home.

The Greens will prioritise First Nations justice and self-determination on council

The City of Sydney sits on unceded Gadigal land. The Greens acknowledge the Gadigal’s unbroken connection to, care and custodianship of the land, waters and sky of this Country. This is, was, and always will be Aboriginal land.

First Nations people have long been leaders in the city, building community strength in the face of colonisation, dispossession and displacement from Country. Communities and activists in the inner city established Australia’s first Aboriginal community-controlled legal and medical services in Redfern, and have played a leading role in the national movement for truth-telling, Treaty, self-determination and land rights.

First Nations residents and organisations are increasingly being pushed out the city by gentrification and high living costs and rents. Racist overpolicing and police violence hurt people and put lives at risk. A lack of community control over decisions affecting First Nations peoples means council processes don’t reflect self-determination in practice.

The Greens on City of Sydney Council will work in partnership with Traditional Owners and the strong and diverse First Nations communities that live in the city. We will use the resources and power of the City of Sydney to take bold action, to ensure a City of Sydney which recognises this as an Aboriginal place and is a more just and inclusive place for First Nations peoples to live, work and visit.

Our priorities for First Nations justice in Sydney
  1. Support the growth of Aboriginal housing, including ensuring Aboriginal housing is prioritised in new housing projects by the City of Sydney. We’ll support and work with community to win at least 10% Aboriginal affordable housing as part of the Redfern/Waterloo redevelopments.
  2. Work with local First Nations communities and community organisations to implement First Nations decision making in council budgeting processes.
  3. Establish a First Nations Heritage Strategy for the City of Sydney to protect and treasure Country and recognise and celebrate First Nations communities and their activism, resistance and strength in Culture.
  4. Work with Traditional Owners, local First Nations communities and community-controlled organisations to develop a Treaty and repatriation process for the City.
  5. Develop a safe and inclusive streets strategy to combat police violence and harassment and fight racism in the City.

More policy information

Housing

Grow Aboriginal housing by ensuring it is prioritised in affordable and public housing programs, including in new housing projects by the City of Sydney.

Ensure that Council plays a stronger role in supporting local community campaigns to oppose the sell off or redevelopment of public housing in the inner city, which would break up long running communities with significant First Nation’s populations.

Work in partnership with the community campaign to win at least 10% affordable housing as part of the Redfern/Waterloo redevelopments.

Environment, planning and heritage

Establish a First Nations Heritage Strategy for the City of Sydney, to recognise, protect and celebrate Country, First Nations communities, and Sydney’s history, its resistance and self-determination history. The strategy will include binding targets and properly costed programs to ensure streets, places and building names and local signage is urgently updated. 

Establish a program to name, rename or update streets, places and building names and local signage. The program should be codesigned with First Nations communities and include clear targets and proper funding. 

Develop and implement First Nation’s Design Principles and/ or Designing with Country Guidelines for the City of Sydney, and work towards de-colonising planning and embedding a Designing with Country approach across Council planning instruments and policies.

Work with local, State and National First Nations organisations and arts bodies to develop and implement a strategy to stop the sale of fake Aboriginal art and cultural items in the city, including in souvenir shops.

Work with local language centres and educational institutes to develop initiatives to promote the teaching of local languages, particularly in schools.

Justice

Develop a safe and inclusive streets strategy to combat police violence and harassment, and combat examples of local racism, to ensure all spaces – especially public spaces – in the LGA are welcoming and safe for everyone.

Economic development

Work with local First Nations communities and community organisations to implement First Nations decision making in Council budget processes. This could include participatory budgeting and/or direct First Nations control over Council funding for relevant programs.

Develop a program to actively encourage First Nations organisations and businesses to be based in Sydney, and to support First Nations organisations and businesses at risk of being priced out of the city. This could include waivers of rates and subsidised or free access to Council services or facilities.

Provide better support for First Nations community groups and organisations seeking access to Council buildings, including by prioritising bookings for spaces, reducing fees to zero and providing access to low cost or free Public Liability Insurance.

Significantly expand Council’s First Nation’s workforce, including apprenticeships, senior management roles, and positions at all levels. This includes additional roles with specific responsibility for engagement with First Nations residents, organisations and businesses, and roles across all aspects of Council operations.

Ensure Council follows through on its commitment to develop and implement a First Nation’s procurement policy through the Eora strategy.

Can you help us make Sydney a #CityForEveryone?

Next event

Join Greens for Sydney’s Sylvie Ellsmore at the Lord Mayoral candidate forum organised by Alexandria Residents’ Action Group, Friends of Erskineville and REDWatch, 7pm on Wednesday 10 November.

Candidates will take questions from the moderator and the community. The organisers conducted a survey to select the top three topics for discussion, which will be public housing, climate change and transport.

Event registration is not required. The below button will take you straight to the Zoom meeting room.

Get your questions ready!