Beattie urges support for Pearson reform plan


2007 June, 29

The Queensland Government has asked the Commonwealth to back a new trial of welfare reform in Indigenous communities developed by Aboriginal lawyer Noel Pearson.

Premier Peter Beattie pitched the proposal to Prime Minister John Howard in Brisbane yesterday.

The proposal, created by Mr Pearson's Cape York Institute, involves a trial at four Queensland Indigenous communities - Aurukun, Mossman Gorge, Hope Vale and Coen.

A central element is the establishment of a Family Responsibilities Commission.

Mr Beattie says for the trial to succeed it needs funding cooperation from all levels of government.

"We have put that proposal to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister has agreed to work that through with us," he said.

Mr Beattie says the proposed new Commission would be comprised of respected members of the four Aboriginal communities and a senior legal officer.

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough says he is impressed by the proposal.

"I think that it was a very constructive meeting and we should see some fruitful outcomes as a result of it," he said.

Mr Brough says he helped fund the research by the Cape York Institute and agrees the proposal has merit.

"Premier Beattie made it very clear that the Queensland Government wishes to make a positive and active role in it and that revolves around a family commission so that is particular good news," he said.

Beattie urges support for Pearson reform plan