Image: The Interim Truth and Treaty Body (supplied)
Queensland’s Path to Treaty is now set in law.
The landmark Bill passed to a round of applause at a regional sitting in Cairns on Wednesday, with premier Annastacia Palaszczuk acknowledging that Australia is the only commonwealth country without a treaty.
On the 22nd of February 2023, the premier introduced the Path to Treaty Bill into the Queensland parliament.
Its purpose, to set up the legislative framework for treaty-making between the Queensland government and the state’s sovereign Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Co-designed with the Interim Truth and Treaty Body (ITTB), made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous members, the historic Bill received bipartisan support, with only four votes against.
The ITTB will now work to establish a formal Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry and First Nations Treaty Institute – the centrepieces of the legislation.
The Inquiry will run for a minimum of three-years, investigating, and confronting Queensland’s true history and the ongoing impacts of colonisation on First Nations people in the state.
The independent First Nations Treaty institute will help prepare and support Indigenous people for future Treaties when they occur.
The IITB have been travelling across the state building understanding of the Path to Treaty and engaging with First Nations communities on the best way forward.
Co-chair Aunty Cheryl Buchanan has been advocating for Treaties for over 50 years and says it’s vital they continue listening to community in tandem with truth-telling and treaty-making.
The proud Guwamu woman from southwest Queensland encouraged all mob to think carefully about what they need for their people when treaties are being negotiated.
You can listen to interview with Cheryl Buchanan here: