Queensland launches path to treaty with state’s Indigenous people | Australia news


The Queensland government has pledged to reframe its relationship with the state’s Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples as it paves a path towards a treaty, but admits the process may take years.

The deputy premier, Jackie Trad, launched the “Tracks to Treaty” commitment in Brisbane on Sunday, the last day of Naidoc Week.

She said it aimed to give Indigenous communities greater self-determination and better delivery of services, lift the representation of Indigenous voices to government, and begin work on negotiating one or more treaties to create a positive shared future.

“Today is about recognising that fundamental underpinning of the success and betterment of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a much better relationship between government and the community,” she said.

Trad said there was no pre-ordained outcome, as it was all about having a respectful, inclusive conversation. “I’m not here to rush anything; I’m here to say we are starting a conversation,” she said.

“Fundamentally, we want to come together as a community and say this is the path we want to take, this is the path we want to explore, and it’s through that process we’ll get a time frame.”

The path to treaty process will be led by an eminent panel, co-chaired by the Aboriginal leader and academic Jackie Huggins and the former Keating government attorney general Michael Lavarch. The panel will conduct a state-wide consultation in the second half of 2019.

“These are conversations for all Queenslanders,” Huggins said. “We need to move forward with mutual respect and a shared vision for this country.”

In making the announcement, Trad was joined by the environment minister and Quandamooka woman, Leeanne Enoch, and Queensland’s first Torres Strait Islander MP, Cynthia Lui.

“Understanding our past, our shared history… but also telling the truth in all of that, and ensuring that truth then lays the path for the future generations, so Queensland can be the very best it can be,” Enoch said.

Lui said it was a truly historic moment. “This launch signifies a positive step in the right direction … in achieving positive outcomes, meaningful outcomes leading into the future.”

The LNP spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partnerships, Christian Rowan, said Labor was failing to address current issues.

“There are dozens of Indigenous kids being locked up in police watch houses for weeks at a time and Labor failed every closing the gap target on Indigenous disadvantage.”



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