Minister, the Queensland government has protected Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practices in law. Are there any measures being taken to implement legislation that similarly protects Aboriginal child rearing practices?
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships:
There has been nothing formally yet, but there have been some conversations, I know, amongst some of the Aboriginal community stakeholders out there. I know that some elders have mentioned it to me in different parts around the state. There has not been any formal work done on that, but certainly the Meriba Omasker work shows that a government can incorporate lore into law, so I think the precedent is set, but there have not been any formal approaches to us.
As we did with the Torres Strait Islanders, we would rely in that situation on where senior leaders and elders step forward and come to government and say, ‘We want you to address this particular thing,’ but we have not had anything formal that I am aware of yet. We will look at it as it comes forward. The other thing we will need to check on is whether there is consistency across Queensland. The Torres Strait Islander community essentially is geographically a smaller part. We would need to make sure, if we were going to bring on any sort of legal framework that allowed a similar approach across the Aboriginal peoples of Queensland, that we could reflect all Aboriginal peoples because there might be some differing things that occur across the state. The short answer is we are open to it, we are up for it, but we would be looking for that leadership to step forward to us.