News State QLD News Far north Qld pair make late bid to join new Indigenous council

Far north Qld pair make late bid to join new Indigenous council

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Representatives from Queensland’s Indigenous councils are urging the Federal Government to accept two late nominations for a new advisory body.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott unveiled plans before the September election for an Indigenous Advisory Council to tackle disadvantage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.

It will be chaired by the former Labor Party president Warren Mundine, who says he is meeting with Mr Abbott tomorrow to discuss its make-up and functions.

Mr Mundine says up to 50 nominations had been received by last Friday’s deadline and up to eight will be chosen.

Meanwhile, an Indigenous leaders’ forum in Cairns this week endorsed two further nominees and one of them, Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher, says he hopes they will be considered.

“It’s important that there is a process here already where elected members from [a] grassroots level have been elected through a democratic process by their people,” Councill Butcher said.

“It’s only fair that we have that voice be heard at a national level now.”

The other late nominee is Torres Strait Island regional councillor Getano Lui, a long-term campaigner for secession.

However, Mr Mundine says it may not be fair to consider further nominees.

He says he has visited communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia in recent weeks as part of his new role and is hoping to travel to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities in far north Queensland next month.