• Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Treasurer Curtis. (AAP)Source: AAP
The Queensland Government has pledged to ramp up help for Aboriginal communities by assigning individual Cabinet ministers to each one.
NITV Staff Writer

20 Jul 2016 - 1:01 PM  UPDATED 20 Jul 2016 - 4:15 PM

Dubbed the “Champions’ Program”, 18 communities have been assigned to 18 ministers (see list below). The rest will fall to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Treasurer, Curtis Pitt.

“This program will provide unprecedented contact, presence and direct attention between Ministers and communities, which will undoubtedly strengthen our whole-of-government response to improving Indigenous outcomes,” said Mr Pitt, who is also Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

He said assigning ministers to individual communities comes on top of the existing Queensland Government Champions program, in which senior public servants and other heads of government agencies were tied to names places.

“Each discrete community will now have its own dedicated partner within the Palaszczuk Government Ministry to listen and act on their concerns which will help communities seize opportunities before them,” he said.

Warren Collins, CEO of the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, told NITV that he welcomes having two government champions. His shire has been working in partnership Ms Clare O’Connor, Director-General of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships for the last 12 months. Collins says that the outcomes have been very positive and that his shire has received a lot of support in getting things done.

Mr Collins told NITV: “Employment is a priority and housing construction is going well. Early next year we will have a new sewage treatment plan,” a direct result from the “Champions’ Program”.

Brass thrives in Qld Aboriginal community
A tropical Indigenous community may seem like an unusual place to hear the blares of a popular brass band.

Ministers will start working with mayors and community leaders to identify “the opportunities and challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities”.

"This program will provide unprecedented contact, presence and direct attention between Ministers and communities."

He said he lead the government response in Aurukun, where the school was temporarily closed after a spate of violent incidents.

The Champions Program had received strong support at a summit at Yarrabah in Far North Queensland, he said.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to acting on that feedback.”

Who is linked to where

All Communities – Premier and Minister for the Arts, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Sport,  Curtis Pitt

Aurukun - Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Sport, Curtis Pitt

Cherbourg - Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham

Coen - Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick

Doomadgee - Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke

Hope Vale - Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni

Kowanyama - Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier, Assistant Minister Mark Ryan

Lockhart River - Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply, Mark Bailey

Mapoon - Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services, Bill Byrne

Mornington Island - Assistant Minister for Local Government, Assistant Minister Jennifer Howard

Mossman Gorge - Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills, Yvette D'Ath

Napranum - Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Grace Grace

Northern Peninsula Area - Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Leanne Donaldson

Palm Island - Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment, Jackie Trad

Pormpuraaw - Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, Dr Steven Miles

Torres Strait - Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman

Woorabinda - Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games, Stirling Hinchliffe

Wujal Wujal - Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, Leeanne Enoch

Yarrabah Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones