My constituency question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. There is a strong desire amongst my constituents in Western Victoria Region to promote local Aboriginal culture, and I am fortunate to have a number of Aboriginal groups and organisations within my electorate, which are a proud and active part of the community.
Registered Aboriginal parties in particular play an important role in protecting, managing and promoting Aboriginal cultural heritage. They provide self-determination and employment opportunities.
Two local government areas in my electorate, Colac Otway and Surf Coast shires, have small Aboriginal communities compared to other parts of the region, but they are strong and have very proud histories.
The Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative is one of the registered Aboriginal parties that covers parts of the Surf Coast local government area.
Can the minister inform me of the interactions she has had with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative registered Aboriginal party, and what the government is doing to strengthen existing registered Aboriginal parties and promote new ones, particularly in Western Victoria Region?