National News

First Nations treaty talks begin in Cairns

Official talks of a treaty that could deliver better housing and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland are under way.

The first in a series of community consultation sessions took place in Cairns on Thursday as the state government moved ahead in its plans to reach a treaty with First Nations people.

"This is a conversation we hope will go some way to righting the wrongs of the past and setting the foundation for a new and just relationship," Jackie Trad, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships told parliament on Thursday.

"Queensland is ready for this conversation and now is our time to talk treaty as we walk together on this journey grounded in voice, treaty and truth."

The state government in July outlined plans towards a treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people, with the aim for greater self-determination in Indigenous communities.

Ms Trad said it was time for the truth about the state's ancient history and colonisation to be told as part of steps towards a shared and inclusive future.

Consultation sessions are being led by the independent Eminent Panel and Treaty Working Group.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch, who was the first indigenous woman elected to Queensland's parliament, encouraged all Queenslanders to take part in the 26 consultation sessions to be held across the state.

"Tracks to Treaty will help to put Queensland on a stronger path toward meaningful, impactful partnerships based on the truth of our state's history," Ms Enoch said.

"This is an historic step we take together, one that is long overdue but one that will strengthen the way to greater reconciliation, self-determination and a more inclusive, respectful shared future."

© AAP 2019