The LGAQ has sought collaborative partnerships between the Federal and State Governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander local governments to improve the economic and social wellbeing of these communities.
We have also sought to ensure State and Federal bureaucracies are responsive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils’ considerations and views prior to development of policy options.
We have particularly worked to redress the disconnect that often occurs between the stated position of ministers and the subsequent actions and advice of departmental officers.
The Indigenous Leaders Forum (ILF) continues to grow in status with the LGAQ receiving regular requests from State, Federal and other government bodies to attend ILF meetings.
ILFs were convened in October 2014 in Mackay and May 2015 on Palm Island following the success of the 2014 Thursday Island ILF. This was the first significant local government conference convened on Palm Island. It was consistent with our determination to hold ILFs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to help the local economy and provide an opportunity to showcase the local community.
The October 2014 ILF was complemented by a “Conversation with the Queensland Police Service” attended by the Police Commissioner, other executive members of the Queensland Police Service and elected representatives. The Police Commissioner also attended the Palm Island forum.
The Palm Island forum also served as a Ministerial Roundtable, with Curtis Pitt MP, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and his Cabinet colleagues Leanne Enoch and Coralee O’Rourke able to meet and converse directly with local government leaders of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities for the first time.
Key outcomes from the ILF included: agreement on the conclusion of the reviews into alcohol management plans; an iteration of the call for the restoration of the SGFA funding levels; support for a constitutional recognition website; agreement on air travel subsidies in far north Queensland; support for the James Cook University research into the impacts of drugs other than alcohol within indigenous communities; and agreement to formulate a position on the issue of government ownership of retail stores in communities as a matter of priority