The leader of the Victorian Nationals says his party will no longer support a treaty between the state and Indigenous groups.

Peter Walsh, says the supposed secrecy around the proposal has changed his mind.

We’re very concerned about the secrecy, we’re all about openness and transparency, about all of Victoria being involved in these discussions and that’s not the case,” Mr Walsh told Sky News.

He also took aim at the state’s cultural heritage laws.

 “We have had internal discussions and we don’t believe we should proceed with Treaty, until issues around cultural heritage, until issues around the traditional owner settlement act are actually resolved.”

The laws allow the Victorian government to recognise traditional owners and certain rights on crown land, gives Indigenous groups the ability to approve and give consent to certain activities on public land, and gives groups the opportunity to engage in economic development opportunities.

It goes against a statement Mr Walsh made in June 2022, when he said the National and Liberal Parties “are committed to working with the Indigenous community on Treaty as well,”

In response Victoria’s treaty body, The First People’s Assembly, says the announcement was “disappointing but not surprising.”

In a statement, the assembly said it wishes the debate around treaty was “above party politics” and that they are still willing to work with all politicians going forward.

“We want everyone who calls Victoria home, to be able to share in, celebrate and benefit from the wisdom and knowledge that our cultures and languages have to offer.  

We thank our friends and allies who are willing to walk with us on this shared journey.  

For those not yet willing to join in, the loss is yours, but if you change your mind you know where to find us.”