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    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Aurukun delegation to devise new community engagement strategy

    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Friday, February 05, 2016

    Aurukun delegation to devise new community engagement strategy

    The delegation of Palaszczuk Ministers who visited Aurukun yesterday have set themselves the challenge of implementing whole-of-government improvements to deliver better community outcomes.

    Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said different Government agencies and different levels of Government had to start working together more efficiently and effectively.

    “Change will rely heavily on improved community relations and engagement, so visitation to remote Indigenous communities can no longer be sporadic,” Mr Pitt said.

    “I’ve heard the feedback that the LNP willfully ignored the Cape and Torres Strait and as a Government we have been repairing those relationships, but we also need to have an eye to the future to deliver generational change.

    “I will speak with the Premier to try to gain her support for implementing a rostered visitation schedule between key Ministerial offices as part of a new coordinated strategic engagement plan to have a regular presence on the ground in our remote Indigenous communities, particularly Aurukun.

    “There is no quick fix to the many complex and pervasive social challenges Aurukun faces and one Government Department can’t fix this alone.

    “I very clearly heard the need to strengthen local governance and will explore potential alternate models of governance for Indigenous communities.

    “I also want to tackle the challenge of improving school attendance and will speak with the Cape York Academy about a campaign to target this issue, which I believe should include cultural training for teachers in remote towns.

    “I want to drive improved coordination between government agencies and the non-government sector in working together to enhance service delivery, especially in partnership with the Commonwealth Government.”

    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Bill Byrne said the delegation’s visit had been absolutely worthwhile after spates of escalated violence in Aurukun between November 2015 and January 2016.

    “As the Police Minister I am determined to ensure that the police on the ground are safe, but also that the police are working with the community to try and address the ongoing issues,” Mr Byrne said.

    “The Queensland Police will be signing a memorandum of understanding with Aurukun Shire Council for the operation of the new CCTV system we just launched and also working together with local leaders to develop a Community Safety Plan.

    “But this isn’t a challenge for police alone, our enforcement officers need support from other departments to look at strategies for curbing criminal conviction rates and new ways we can reach out to disengaged youths.”

    Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the Queensland Government was committed to improving community living in the Cape and Torres Strait, unlike the previous government

    “After meeting members of the community and hearing challenges they face on a daily basis, I am already looking at ways of improving housing and facilities in Aurukun,” Mr de Brenni said.

    “I am talking with my department on innovative ways to drive growth, assist families gain access to social housing, and provide them with employment opportunities.

    “My Department is currently working with Ergon Energy to prioritise repairs to around 30 power boxes, damaged during summer’s bouts of violence, so locals can move back into their homes.

    “I believe that if we’re to successfully restore social norms here we need to build a shared commitment to a safer community, strengthen the elected and cultural leadership in the community and develop substantive day-to-day activities for the community, in particular targeting teenagers.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is committed to change and creating a brighter future for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and I thank the Mayors for their leadership in partnering with us on this journey.”

     

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