Queensland paves a Path to Treaty

Published: 17 May 2023

While the Voice to Parliament Referendum is the current focus of the Federal government, the Queensland government is progressing a truth-telling and treaty process at a state level, with the introduction of the Path to Treaty Bill.

The Palaszczuk state government introduced this historic Bill to state parliament in February laying the framework for establishing a First Nations Treaty Institute and a formal Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry to support the process of reconciliation and healing.

The Bill, which is the next phase of a commitment reached between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-indigenous people in August last year, will outline the scope and composition of the Institute and the Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry.

Under the legislation, the Treaty Institute will be a statutory body, independent from government which will not negotiate treaties itself, but will provide the institutional support for truth-telling and treaty-making to proceed.

The treaty process will adopt a decentralised approach, with the government open to community led negotiations and individual treaty making with different Indigenous groups.

The Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry will be a five-member team with the majority being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

It will embrace a ‘non-adversarial’ inquiry style and will be tasked with examining and reporting on the impact and effect of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It is expected to operate for three years. The bill also includes provisions to remove offensive terms and outdated provisions within existing laws, including those controlling Indigenous people’s lives and movements. 

Read more about the QNMU's position on supporting the Voice to Parliament here