Queensland Government launches the start of the formal Path to Treaty

The Queensland Government has today announced the historic next steps on the Path to Treaty.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said telling the truth about Queensland’s history was an important first step.

“We stand together at an incredible moment of time in the history of our state,’’ the Premier said.

“What we do next on the Path to Treaty will define our humanity, our sense of fairness, and the legacy we leave our children.”

The Premier said today marked an historic leap toward reconciliation in our state including the structures to be established in legislation – a First Nations Treaty Institute and a Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry.

“We can’t change the past, but together we can create a new future for our state,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Today, we have released our government’s response to the Treaty Advancement Committee Report as part of the state’s Path to Treaty.

“We have accepted all 22 of the report’s recommendations either in full or in principle.

“Treaty is about finding a place where we can face up to our shared history and be truthful about all of it – good and bad – and build a future together where we value, trust, and respect each other.”

At the launch, the Premier signed a Statement of Commitment with First Nations leaders and hundreds of guests in a historic ceremony.

An excerpt from the Statement reads: “This Path to Treaty is a journey, not for the timid, but for those who are courageous to confront our uncomfortable past, the curious who long to find out and live with the truth, and the optimists who dream of the possibilities of a future where we live comfortably with the past, free of blame and rancour.’

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Craig Crawford said today’s announcement included concrete actions to advance reconciliation in Queensland.

“There has never been more momentum across the land for truth and treaty than right now,’’ Mr Crawford said.

“I get the sense that every fair-minded Queenslander wants to just take care of this unfinished business, so we can all move forward together.

“The independent First Nations Treaty Institute will be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and will develop a treaty making framework for agreement with government to ensure we have equal voices at the negotiating table.

“The treaty making framework is a fundamental aspect as it will guide Government and community in the treaty negotiation process.

“Importantly, structures supporting the Path to Treaty will be co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – we are committed to a new way of working.

“An Independent Interim Body (IIB) consisting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders as well as non-Indigenous representatives, will be in place for the next 12 to 18 months as we develop the legislation to establish the First Nations Treaty Institute and Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry.

“The IIB will first lead local truth telling initiatives including with public libraries, museums, archives and art galleries to promote a shared understanding and why it’s important to know our history.

“Following this, we will establish a formal three-year Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry.

“With the Queensland Government’s committed funding of $10 million per year towards the Path to Treaty guaranteed for the duration of treaty making, we stand assured that the treaty journey will lead Queensland into a renewed and reconciled state, one that is proud of its relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“A Path to Treaty Office will be established in government to ensure government is ready to come to the negotiating table. We need to make significant changes to how we work with First Nations for this to happen.”

To learn more about Queensland’s Path to Treaty visit www.qld.gov.au/treaty.