The Queensland Government is establishing a $300 million Path to Treaty Fund, as a major investment in reconciliation and healing.
The returns from the fund will be used to progress Queensland’s Path to Treaty and support the Government’s response to the Treaty Advancement Committee report, expected to be provided to Government later in 2021.
Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said this places Queensland in a good place to take action on the next steps towards a treaty or treaties.
“This is an important step forward in our Treaty journey, as we work to acknowledge and address past injustices, and create a new future between First Nations and non-Indigenous Queenslanders.,” Mr Crawford said.
“This is an investment in the future of our State, and the treaty process is a critical tool in promoting reconciliation.
The Queensland Government’s 2021-22 State Budget will also invest almost $6 million towards language, education, culture, and reconciliation initiatives across the state.
Minister Crawford said the budget would help support Queensland’s efforts to Close the Gap in life outcomes between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples.
“The Palaszczuk Government is reframing the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to support aspirations for better economic, employment, health and housing outcomes,” Mr Crawford said.
“More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are enrolled in vital early education and attaining Year 12 or equivalent qualifications than ever before.
“A funding boost of $4 million to the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation continues our commitment to provide educational opportunities for more First Nations Queenslanders. These scholarships give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families increased educational choices and life opportunities, continuing our efforts to Close the Gap in education outcomes.
Mr Crawford said the budget recognised the importance of language, culture, and identity, and its impact on the health and wellbeing for current and future generations.
“Queensland is home to the nation’s oldest living cultures and is enriched by the ongoing contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” he said.
“We have committed a further $1 million in increased funding over four years and $300,000 ongoing to continue important reconciliation initiatives including the Celebrating Reconciliation Grants Program and funding for Reconciliation Queensland Incorporated.
“Additionally, funding of $800,000 over four years and $200,000 ongoing, will support implementation of the Indigenous Language Policy and the Indigenous Languages Grants Program towards preserving, promoting and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
“We are also investing $4.5 million to address land administration requirements and infrastructure planning initiatives in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including to enable home ownership opportunities.”
“The 2021-22 State Budget will help ensure more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities have the opportunity to thrive socially, culturally and economically,” he said.