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    Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Local government reform to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island councils: Minister

    Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Thursday, September 03, 2009

    Local government reform to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island councils: Minister

    Expansive reform of Queensland’s local government sector continues, with a review about to get underway into two pieces of legislation covering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island councils.

    Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Desley Boyle has announced reviews of the Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act 1978 and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities (Justice, Land and Other Matters) Act 1984. Both have provisions that are out-of-date and contradict provisions of the Local Government Act 2009.

    Ms Boyle said some provisions in the two pieces of legislation overlapped including in the areas of hunting and gathering rights and the power of councils to employ community police to enforce local laws.

    “These two pieces of legislation overlap in parts and also differ in other areas such as alcohol provisions and rights of entry.

    “It is high time we reviewed and harmonised the legislation.

    “In general the rules in Aurukun and Mornington Island should be the same as other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Councils and the same as other councils in Queensland.

    “There’s no doubt many of these issues are going to be contentious.

    “I assure the councils and the people of these communities that there will be thorough, local and genuine consultation.”

    Member for Cook Jason O’Brien welcomed the announcement as a move in the right direction to modernise the councils and give their communities an opportunity to have a voice in designing the future of their local governments.

    Minister Boyle said the wide consultation with the councils, communities and stakeholders would be held over coming months.

    “This is an important opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all other stakeholders to have their say and be part of developing a modern network of shire councils that can operate on a level playing field with every other council around the State,” Ms Boyle said.

    Media Contact: Minister Boyle’s Office 3227 8819