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Queensland's Interim Truth and Treaty Body welcomes vital steps on path to Treaty

Giovanni Torre -

Queensland's Interim Truth and Treaty Body has welcomed the appointment of Leanne Enoch MP as the Minister for Treaty, and the support of the state's opposition on the journey.

The new minister said she is absolutely determined to help guide Queensland through the Truth and Treaty process.

The Path to Treaty Act 2023 was passed 10 May.

The Act, underpinned by the UN Declaration to the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, specifies key bodies to be appointed to progress the Queensland truth telling and healing process and to prepare community for treaty-readiness.

The Interim Truth and Treaty Body (ITTB) was integral in the drafting of the Act, which received bipartisan support from the Queensland Parliament.

ITTB co-chairs Cheryl Buchanan and Sallyanne Atkinson said on Friday that they were excited with the changes unfolding that would support progressing the truth and treaty process in Queensland.

"It was so surreal to witness both sides of the House vote on something so important and historic."

"My hope is the Act will allow us to move to place of conciliation. That we start to look at how to mend our hearts, our minds, our values and to not replay the trauma of the past everyday, but to celebrate this time in our history and remember those who came before us, the proud amazing warriors—men, women and young people. It's time for change," said Ms Buchanan.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the time was right, following the passing of laws to make treaties with First Nations groups.

The state's opposition leader, David Crisafulli, said he hoped the Act would be "the catalyst for true accountability of government" and improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this State.

Ms Atkinson said there has been a "tremendous amount of progressive change these past few weeks, not only with the passing of this historic legislation, but also with the recent repositioning of Queensland Ministers to better align to the needs of the State".

"It shows that the Government are serious— we've passed the Bill and then we will have the Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry to understand how things were in the past and to make sure they don't happen again. We are now designing a future that is better for all Queenslanders," said Ms Atkinson.

A key focus now for the ITTB will be leading the establishment of the First Nations Treaty Institute, which has been informed by consultation with community groups and key stakeholders from across the State, over the past several months.

The ITTB will also support the Queensland government to establish the Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry.

The Institute and the Inquiry will guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Queensland Government in working together towards truth telling, and ultimately treaty negotiations.

More information about Truth and Treaty in Queensland is available online.

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