Two South Australian councils have decided to limit their use of the Acknowledgement of Country in a move described as disappointing.
Suburban Adelaide council City of Playford voted on November 28 to scrap the practice of paying respect to the local Traditional Owners at the start of their meetings.
It came a week after Northern Areas Council, 200km north of Adelaide, decided to remove the Acknowledgement from its correspondence.
State Aboriginal Affairs minister Kyam Maher said while the decisions were a matter for the councils, he was "personally disappointed".
"Acknowledgement of Country is a small gesture, it doesn't cost anything but it does go some way to recognising the tens of thousands of years of the history of Aboriginal people in this state," he said.
City of Playford councillor David Kerrison raised the motion to revoke the Acknowledgement and said reading it at every meeting was "going overboard".
"I listen to the younger generation who attend university and colleges and it's being read out at every lecture - I think it's gone a little too far," he said in the meeting.
Cr Kerrison said he also felt the practice wasn't "inclusive".
He suggested an Acknowledgement of Country be displayed on the council website and also include: "our forebears that have contributed in building and defending our great nation and way of life".
"This is Australia, we are a great nation, we've got to be thankful and respectful to our custodians but we also have to respect our forebears that have built this great nation," he said.
City of Playford mayor Glenn Docherty said the practice would "continue to be part of council events on an event-by-event basis".
"The Acknowledgement of Country has been removed from council and committee meetings," he said.
"This was an unanticipated motion presented to the council without notice."
Acknowledgement is 'commitment to reconciliation'
Reconciliation SA chief executive Jason Downs said the Acknowledgement helped to foster "understanding, respect and unity among all members of the community".
"These statements not only pay tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the First Nations people but also serve as a tangible commitment to reconciliation efforts," he said.
An Acknowledgement of Country can be given by any person and is often said at the start of an event or meeting to pay respect to local Traditional Owners.
It differs from a Welcome to Country which is delivered by or on behalf of Traditional Owners at formal events and evolved from the cultural tradition of permitting and welcoming visitors onto Country.