The Palaszczuk Government wants to hear from people living in Cairns and Yarrabah about what needs to be done to improve housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
Yarning Circles (consultation forums) will be held on Tuesday, 20 November at Hilton Cairns, 34 Esplanade, from 2.30pm to 5.30pm and a Yarrabah Yarning Circle will be held on Wednesday, 21 November at Yarrabah Community Hall, 56 Sawmill Road, from 10am to 2pm.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the forums would give residents and key stakeholders the opportunity to help shape the government’s new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Action Plan.
“These Yarning Circles form a critical part of the process in developing the plan,” Mr Healy said.
“They will play an important part in the targeted consultation process we’re conducting around Queensland to find out what we need to do to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing.”
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the forums would not only help shape the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Action Plan, but was a key action identified in the government’s Queensland Housing Strategy 2017 – 2027.
“The plan recognises the unique and diverse housing challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, which includes overcrowding and homelessness, and will come up with practical solutions,” Mr Pitt said.
“We recognise that a safe and secure home is at the heart of family wellbeing, and that providing suitable housing makes all the difference in improving life chances.”
Minister for Fire and Emergency Service and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the Yarning Circles would be facilitated by First Nations Housing Advisor Mick Gooda.
“Yarning Circles are a good way to get feedback from the community as they provide a forum in which everybody can get their voice heard in a safe and respectful environment,” he said.
“They will be facilitated by our new First Nations Housing Advisor Mick Gooda who will encourage everyone to participate in a free-flowing discussion.”
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the Palaszczuk Government knew that to “ensure the best outcomes for remote communities we need to work with them, not simply do things to them”.
“We want to provide opportunities to challenge current thinking and propose collaborative solutions around developing the housing action plan to make sure it truly represents the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders,” she said.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government’s forums were “vitally important in the wake of the Federal LNP turning their back on the state’s remote indigenous communities”.
“We are approaching a crisis in remote housing brought on by the Federal LNP’s disgraceful decision to axe funding for building new housing in Queensland’s remote indigenous communities,” Mr de Brenni said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is determined to address these challenges and that’s why we recently announced an additional $40 million, bringing our direct investment to $185 million this year to support a housing construction program in 2019 to help mitigate the worst impacts of the Commonwealth’s decision to cut funding.
“We continue to stand ready to accept any assistance in Closing the Gap from the Commonwealth should the Prime Minister overturn Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to turn his back on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.”
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan will be launched next year.
Among those consulted will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, Traditional Owners, private and social housing tenants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mayors and Councils, Indigenous organisations, service providers and Government agencies.
To be part of these conversations:
- attend a Yarning Circle
- complete the survey
- reach out to us by email, post or in person.
To find out more please go to www.qld.gov.au/betterhousingfutures