Queensland Government’s historic commitment to Treaty-making process

JOINT STATEMENT

The Queensland Government will establish a new Treaty Advancement Committee to progress the Path to Treaty process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Following three months of statewide consultation by an Eminent Panel, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government was proud to support the recommendation to move forward on a Path to Treaty with First Nations Queenslanders.

“A Treaty Advancement Committee will provide independent advice on the implementation of the panel’s recommendations,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“It will ensure Queensland is well placed to consider the next steps in the journey to a treaty with First Nations Queenslanders.

“Today’s release of the Path to Treaty Statement of Commitment and response to the Eminent Panel recommendations shows our commitment to further treaty conversations with all members of the community – including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners, Elders, leaders and key organisations across the state.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the process was about shaping our state’s shared future together.

“Establishing a treaty or agreement making process – based on mutual understanding, respect and recognition – with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders will be fundamental to improving life outcomes for the first peoples of this state,” Mr Crawford said.

“The Palaszczuk Government values the important role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders as the First Nations people of this state.

“We will right the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders to deliver better economic, employment, health and housing outcomes for the First Nations people.”

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the importance of truth telling and accepting our shared history, even the most uncomfortable aspects of our history, was critical in progressing meaningful agreement making.

“As a proud Quandamooka woman, I know that our journey towards treaty or treaties will require an unwavering commitment to unpacking our past and forging a reconciled path that enables greater equality for First Nations peoples,” Ms Enoch said.

The establishment of a Treaty Advancement Committee will move Queensland forward in this process.”

Minister Enoch said this was a significant and historic step for Queensland that recognised the hard work of generations of people who were committed to better outcomes for First Nations peoples in this state.

Member for Cook and Iamalaig woman Cynthia Lui said that treaty would empower First Nations Queenslanders to be more involved in driving better outcomes for their communities.

“Treaty will give First Nations people a platform to negotiate improved policies, programs and services for communities,” Ms Lui said.

Queensland’s newest Member of Parliament, Member for Bundamba and proud member of the Gubbi Gubbi nation Lance McCallum said he was immensely proud to be walking the first steps on a Path to Treaty and truth telling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland.

“As the third Indigenous MP to simultaneously hold a seat in Queensland Parliament, my hope is that Queensland’s Path to Treaty will be an historic milestone in our state’s reconciliation journey, and remembered for generations to come,” Mr McCallum said.

Eminent Panel Co-Chairs Dr Jackie Huggins and Professor Michael Lavarch said the Queensland Government’s commitment to treaty was another step forward on the state’s reconciliation journey.

“During the consultations many people said that treaty was a way to deal with ‘unfinished business’, so I’m glad that Queenslanders will have that opportunity,” Dr Huggins said.

Professor Lavarch said the commitment to release the report enabled Queenslanders to see their input reflected and learn more about the consultation outcomes.

“We’re very pleased that the Queensland Government has accepted our recommendation to publicly release the Path to Treaty report,” Professor Lavarch said.

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