In 2018, the State Government sought community views about a proposal to establish an independent statutory office for advocacy and accountability in Aboriginal affairs. Feedback was provided by a range of individuals, groups and government agencies, just under half of whom were Aboriginal people or organisations.
The State Government received a total of 77 written submissions and held 43 verbal discussions about the proposal. In July 2019, it released a Community Feedback Report, which outlined the main ideas and concerns raised through the feedback process.
Feedback received in response to the discussion paper will now inform a model for the new office that will be considered by the Government. It is anticipated that new funding and supporting legislation will be required, therefore the proposal will be contingent on budgetary and Parliamentary processes.
This Community Feedback Report outlines the main ideas and concerns raised through the feedback process. Every response was read or listened to thoroughly and this report provides a broad summary of those views. Direct quotes from submissions or consultations have been included in the document where they represent a widespread or otherwise significant viewpoint.
This report is based on all feedback received—written and verbal. Overall, responses varied greatly. Not all submissions addressed the same issues. Some followed the structure of the discussion paper in full, while others only discussed certain components of the proposal.
Just under forty-five percent of those we heard from (53/120) were Aboriginal people or organisations. Some non-Aboriginal organisations also included comments and advice from Aboriginal staff, members and/or reference groups in their feedback. Overall, there was no single, distinct stance or viewpoint evident in these responses. Amongst the feedback received from Aboriginal sources, there were areas of broad agreement and also of clear disagreement; these patterns did not differ greatly from the range of opinions provided by non-Aboriginal contributors.
Some Key Findings:
The Government is now considering the extensive feedback received as part of the first stage of consultation. A report will be released providing details on the preferred model as informed by the feedback received during the first consultation process. There will then be a further opportunity for comment and consultation before any draft legislation is introduced into Parliament.