New indigenous affairs minister’s post-Trad plans
CRAIG Crawford has vowed to work closely with remote mayors after his predecessor in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships portfolio copped Opposition criticism for her "arrogant and highhanded" approach to the job.
The Barron River MP took over the Cabinet role after Jackie Trad resigned from frontbench duties on Sunday amid a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.
Opposition indigenous affairs spokesman Christian Rowan said Mr Crawford - Labor's fourth minister in the role in three years - needed to pick up Labor's game.
"Labor is good at empathising with disadvantaged communities, but has done nothing to practically help them," he said.
Dr Rowan said recent riots at Aurukun and the scandal of indigenous children being detained in police cells showed work needed to be done.
"Instead of fighting for indigenous Queenslanders, Jackie Trad preferred to fight with the Commonwealth and the Family Responsibilities Commission," he said.
Mr Crawford said he had already had conversations with federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt and several mayors from remote indigenous shires.
He hit back at the LNP's "very poor" track record in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and said the party was in no position to criticise Ms Trad or Labor.
The top item on his agenda was to work with communities to deal with the COVID-19 fallout and paths back to normality.
"My main priority now is to get some clarity for those communities, and certainty around those community leaders being part of co-designing their road map for what the next weeks and months look like," he said.
"Not every community wants the same thing.
"We have to recognise that.
"I want them to have local leadership and local decision-making as we move forward.
"That will occupy a lot of time over coming weeks."
ON THE AGENDA
CRAIG Crawford said his longer-term goals included progressing the Tracks to Treaty program, which aimed to secure negotiated treaties from the State Government for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across Queensland.
He wanted to push forward the process of law reform to recognise Torres Strait Islander families' continued use of traditional child-rearing practices and deal with overcrowded housing.
Originally published as New indigenous affairs minister's post-Trad plans