The Indigenous Leaders Forum (ILF)
The Indigenous Leaders Forum (ILF) continued to grow in status with the LGAQ receiving regular requests from state, federal and other government bodies to attend the ILF meetings. ILFs were convened in October 2015 in Toowoomba and June 2016 in Cairns (as the inaugural meeting of newly elected councillors and mayors).
At the October event, leaders reflected on the achievements of the ILF over the past four years and to identify how the needs of the leaders could be better supported in future. Members called for urgent health reforms to maximise on-country delivery of health services in order to close the gap on indigenous disadvantage.
The 'Conversation with the Queensland Police Service' was held in Cairns to coincide with Elected Member Updates for newly elected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mayors and councillors, executive members of the QPS including the Police Commissioner and all relevant regional officers-incharge. Benefits from this initiative include improved relationships and the beginning of a partnership to address law and order issues.
Key outcomes from the ILF included:
- the establishment of a Reparations Taskforce by the State Government in 2015 to oversee the allocation of a further $21 million in Stolen Wages
- an agreement with government on the conclusion of the reviews into Alcohol Management Plans (AMP)
- continued calls for the restoration of the State Government Financial Aid (SGFA) funding levels
- ongoing discussions with Government on the expunging of criminal records as a result of AMP breaches
- support for a constitutional recognition of First Australians website launched and links provided to all councils
- support for James Cook University research into the impacts of drugs other than alcohol within indigenous communities
- an agreement with the Government to formulate a position on the issue of government ownership of retail stores in communities as a matter of priority
- the push for the continuation of National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH) or a similar program post-2018
- advocacy for the establishment of a reference group of council representatives to advise the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA)
- represent where appropriate on Federal Government matters that directly target, and/or apply to, the discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia
- advocacy for the review of the Rural Job Service Provider program and
- the appointment of an ILF nominee as ex-officio representative of the PCYC board.