Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers has been heavily criticised. (Image: Jono Searle/AAP)
The Independent body responsible for establishing Treaty and Truth-Telling framework in Queensland has condemned the head of the state’s Police Union for his comments around Treaty.
In an opinion piece published in the Courier Mail on Wednesday October 25, President Ian Leavers claimed Queensland’s Path to Treaty process would result in the justice system favouring Indigenous people.
“All police I have spoken to are very worried that the inner-city latte sippers have grabbed control of the law-and-order agenda and now wish to further attack police and water down laws as they affect First Nations offenders through the Truth and Treaty Body,” Leavers wrote.
“They are effectively offering a free pass to every rapist, domestic violence abuser, habitual home invader and car thief who tells police they identify as Aboriginal.”
His comments have been labelled “outwardly racist” and “harmful to the wellbeing and interests of First Nations peoples and communities” with many, including the First Nations Advisory Group to the Queensland Police calling for his resignation.
“The Queensland Police Union President has through his comments brought into question whether he is a fit and proper person for the role of General President and Chief Executive of the Queensland Police Union. We call on Mr Leavers to resign,” the First Advisory Group said in a statement.
Mr Leavers statements “are nothing short of reinforcing negative racial stereotypes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples … The Queensland Police Union Presidents’ factually inaccurate, inflammatory and fear mongering comments do not reflect who we are, and who we aspire to be as people in this state of Queensland. These racialised and divisive comments should be condemned in the strongest terms.”
In support of the Group’s statement, Mick Gooda, the Co-Chair of the Interim Truth and Treaty Body says the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum result has emboldened people to make openly racist comments.
The proud Ghungalu man wants other Police Officers in Queensland and Police Union members to stand up and say that’s not our view.
“The Union represent most Police Officers in Queensland … if that’s the view of the Police, what confidence do we have that we’re gonna get a fair go when any of our Mob get pulled up by Police in this state?”
“That’s a prime example of that abuse that’s coming from the [Queensland Police] Union.”
Since Queensland’s Path to Treaty laws passed state Parliament with bi-partisan support in May, the Interim Truth and Treaty Body has been working on preparing for the commencement of the Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry and the opening of the First Nations Treaty Institute, with hopes appointments to the Institute Council and Inquiry to be finalised by the end of 2023.