QUEENSLAND’s Indigenous community is a step closer to treaty negotiations after a report outlining recommendations from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the state was tabled on Saturday.
The Path to Treaty Report was developed by Queensland’s Treaty Working Group and Eminent Treaty Process Panel which began widespread consultations, visiting 24 communities and engaging more than 1,700 Queenslanders since July last year.
Co-chair of the Eminent Panel, Bidjara and Birri-Gubba Juru woman, Dr Jacki Huggins lead the consultation process and said she was optimistic the recommendations of the report would deliver an honest pathway for negotiations.
“It gives me great hope and optimism that what we have now and that what we have now in terms of the report will stand us in good stead ful what is to follow in terms of providing structures, providing evidence and providing the information people told during consultations,” said Ms Huggins.
“My hope would be for legislation, structures and an adequate way those structures can be resourced and they can be sustainable.”
Queensland's Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Jackie Trad, received the report at Parliament House and described the event as an “absolutely historic day”.
“There are a number of recommendations that will now go to cabinet and really it is about how we progress a conversation and a process to achieve a treaty...or treaties here in Queensland between Indigenous people and non-Indigebous peoples,” said Ms Trad.
“Path to Treaty is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reconcile our past in the spirit of truth telling so we can move towards a shared future that will benefit all Queenslanders.
“The Queensland Government will consider the recommendations in the report and provide a response on the next steps over the coming months.”
Dr Huggins said there was broad support for incorporating a framework for truth-telling as part of Queensland’s Path to Treaty.
She and her Eminent Panel Co-chair, Professor Michael Lavarc, said they understood the path to treaty would be a “lengthy process," but it was one that would "benefit all Queenslanders."