The leaders of Queensland’s 17 First Nations councils have voted to lead a delegation to Canberra to finally get action on the overcrowding crisis impacting their communities after the major parties snubbed this week’s Indigenous Leaders Forum (ILF) in Cairns.
ILF chair Wayne Butcher said the reluctance of the Federal Government and the Federal Opposition to send a minister or shadow minister to the ILF at the height of the Federal Election campaign spoke volumes about their priorities when it came to improving the lives of Indigenous Queenslanders.
“They have committed to spending $100 million to address overcrowding in the Northern Territory and yet they won’t even give us the courtesy of accepting our invitation to hear firsthand how Queensland’s First Nations communities need help too,” Mayor Butcher said.
“If they won’t come to us, then we will go to them because unless this issue is addressed our communities will continue to fall behind.”
Mayor Butcher said he and his fellow First Nations leaders would continue to pressure all political parties because the overcrowding crisis simply could not be allowed to continue.
“This is a human rights issue, and to have no commitment to address it here in Queensland is shameful.”
Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Alison Smith said the Association was calling for $100 million a year over the next five years to flow to address overcrowding in Queensland’s First Nations communities.
“This is one of the LGAQ’s key Federal Election asks on behalf of members because every Queensland community deserves to be a liveable one,” Ms Smith said.
“This ask is backed by the findings of the Federal Government’s own review into the now concluded National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing which found that while the program had made significant advances in addressing overcrowding, the job was far from over.
“With just over three weeks left before polling day this Federal Election, I urge the major parties to show they care about the future of Queensland’s First Nations communities and commit to providing this funding.
“If they won’t, then we urge voters to keep this in mind when casting their vote at the ballot box on May 21.”
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Vogler, External Relations Director
Phone: 0438 447 370
Local Government Association of Queensland