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Monday, July 15, 2024

Budget to support First Nations communities

THE 2024-25 State Budget is set to deliver support for First Nations communities and invest in community safety initiatives, infrastructure, and the arts as well as providing cost-of-living relief.

More than $23 million will support First Nations Queenslanders, through Closing the Gap initiatives, wellbeing and community safety programs, and support to take further steps on the truth-telling and healing journey.

This includes $11.2 million over four years to support locally-led wellbeing and community safety programs for First Nations communities, sector strengthening initiatives and continued work through the Doomadgee Place-Based Partnership and related programs.

Gunawuna Jungai, a community owned and controlled company representing the Doomadgee community in Northwest Queensland, recently was successful in securing funding in the second round of the Federal Governments landmark Justice Reinvestment Program.

This additional support from the State Government through the Budget will further bolster Gunawuna Jungai’s goal of creating a community-led Doomadgee, and has been well-received by the Board of Gunawuna Jungai.

Premier Steven Miles said he was doing what matters for Queenslanders, by delivering record cost-of-living relief for communities.

“Making sure everyone has a safe place to call home, can keep the lights and put food on the table is a key priority for me,” he said.

“Additionally, my first budget as Premier is ensuring we continue to work in partnership with First Nations communities to improve life outcomes. 

“That will be done by bolstering Closing the Gaps initiatives, community and safety programs and more support for Queensland’s First Nations communities.”

As part of this support for First Nations Queenslanders, the State Budget also includes $6.3 million to help community members to tell their stories to the Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry and provide for staff wellbeing.

As well, $5.5 million over the three years of the Inquiry will provide easier access to government records held by the Queensland State Archives.

Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the State Government is committed to supporting all Queenslanders through cost-of-living relief and creating a better future for all.

With Queenslanders facing financial hardship, the Budget is providing $3.3 million for emergency relief providers and $2.2 million for the continuation of financial resilience support services, delivered in partnership with community‑based organisations.

More than $5.4 million over two years will help combat the effects of isolation and loneliness, including a Social Prescribing trial in partnership with selected Neighbourhood Centres.

New investment of $46 million over three years through the State Budget will work to future proof Queensland’s leading cultural infrastructure, including supporting critical asset and safety management work across the heritage-listed Queensland Cultural Centre and project management and technical advice for the new theatre at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).

Nearly $8.2 million over two years will support the construction of the Coen Art Centre, as a place for community and storytelling, where skills can be developed, and cultural maintenance is supported.

Almost $5 million over three years will deliver critical asset renewal work at Queensland Museum’s Cobb + Co in Toowoomba and the Queensland Museum Rail Workshops in Ipswich.

New investment of $38 million this budget will continue to strengthen the state’s screen industry and support critical incentives including the Production Attract Strategy; Post and Digital Effects; and Digital Games Program.

These incentives will deliver a pipeline of productions and projects for Queensland and will cement the state as a destination of choice for screen production.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Youth mental health unit for Cairns and Concerns over heat during Brisbane Olympics.

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