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Indigenous leaders gather in Cairns

Health, law and order and the official recognition of the leadership role of democratically elected indigenous leaders will be high on the agenda at a gathering of close to 100 mayors, councillors and chief executives of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils in Cairns this week.

Delegates from the state’s 17 Indigenous councils, which account for twenty per cent of Queensland’s local governments, will be joined by key State Government Ministers for the two day Indigenous Leaders’ Forum.

LGAQ President Margaret de Wit said that the bi-annual forum highlighted the importance of local decision making and local solutions in the advancement of Queensland’s indigenous communities.

“As democratically elected leaders of their communities, these delegates are the authority on the individual needs of their communities,” she said.

“We’re calling on all political parties to recognise this leadership role, as well as support a new, community-led approach to funding indigenous communities as part of the 2016 Federal Election Local Government Policy Plan.”

Indigenous representative on the LGAQ’s Policy Executive, Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey said the gathering provided an opportunity for indigenous councils to share stories of success and development, as well as strategise for the future.

“Strong partnerships between local government representatives and Federal and State government continue to be critical for sustainable reform,” he said.

Mayor of Torres Strait Island Regional Council and indigenous representative on the LGAQ’s Policy Executive Fred Gela pointed to the numerous good news stories out of indigenous Queensland councils and communities as worthy of attention.

“There’s a lot of positives that deserve to be celebrated,” he said.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion and Assistant Minister for Local Government Jennifer Howard are among the invited guests set to address the forum.

The Indigenous Leaders Forum will take place in Cairns at the Novotel (Cairns Oasis Resort) Wednesday June 8 and Thursday June 9.

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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