Question 1 - Path to Treaty fund
Director-General, thanks to the minister we have heard some details on the very important work being done by the department with regards to Path to Treaty. Are the actions outlined in the budget dependent on the returns from the Path to Treaty Fund and, since those returns are based on market variability, what impact will that variability have on the Path to Treaty actions, can they be delivered and what are the time frames?
Minister for Aboriginal and TSI Partnerships:
Obviously the $300 million is invested with Treasury and each year we will get a different return, and that return will be dependent on what the market is doing. They have given us obviously some estimations which are hopefully around the $10 million mark. One of the biggest crystal balls in the world at the moment is: what is the worldwide economy going to look like over the next 10 years? If we had that crystal ball a year ago, we all would have run out and bought real estate, a caravan, a purebred dog and a V8 LandCruiser because they all seem to have gone berserk in price. We will be guided by Treasury as we go along. Those arrangements are still being worked out.
A future fund is a new scheme. We have not had one of those that our department has been involved in before, so we will work with Treasury to work out how that works and what kind of forward idea we get. I can see where you are going—how do we know how to inform the future, not knowing how much money we actually have to throw at it? A lot of that work is still being done. What we have been assured from Treasury is that if we have any left over, we can continue to invest that. If we have change, we can chuck it into next year’s works.
Question 2 - Targeted support for Aboriginal and TSI businesses
Can you outline what targeted support, if any, have been offered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses over the COVID pandemic?
DG for Aboriginal and TSI Partnerships:
I think it speaks to the nature of our department and the role that we play in helping other departments to perform their role. There are some elements that we perform in the economic participation space. Some of that is about brokering connections between other departments and individual Indigenous entities right across Queensland. Some of it is about advocacy within departments about how to better package up their products to be able to attract the interest of Indigenous businesses. Let me check with my department if we have anything else to add to that.
In terms of our whole-of-government leadership, the minister in our department has an oversight role. However, each minister carries individual responsibility for ensuring portfolio agencies progress strategies and policies that strive to meet the priority outcomes and targets. The whole-of-government Moving Ahead strategy 2016-2022 outlines actions to improve economic participation outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders. As I was saying, our department is not necessarily always doing the doing, but we are helping other departments to get better at doing what they need to be doing in that space.