New Draft Policy Moves To Weave Indigenous Culture Into Queensland Planning

Indigenous tradition, culture and heritage will become an integral part of planning in Queensland under a draft policy released by the Queensland Division of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

Dr Sharon Harwood, an author of the policy and PIA Far North Queensland convenor, said the policy will be the first of its kind in Australia.

“Queensland’s new Planning Act requires the consideration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s knowledge, culture and tradition as an integral part of planning outcomes,” Dr Harwood said.

“This is an important reform and something the PIA supports one hundred percent.

“The policy we have released today will provide direction to the planning profession about how best to engage Indigenous people and communities as part of their work.

“We are also making a commitment to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples — and the Queensland government — to develop protocols for engagement to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, culture and tradition in land use and environmental planning.

“This new framework is a significant — and important — change to planning legislation and it is critical that the PIA leads the way on this issue.”

The policy includes:

  • An overview of the geographic distribution of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Queensland
  • The continuing growth of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander estate in Queensland through various means
  • The emerging international human rights norms and standards applying to Indigenous peoples globally as well as in Australia
  • The inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ approaches to land use and occupancy of their traditional lands in contemporary planning systems
  • Support for the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledge, culture and tradition in Queensland’s new Planning Act 2016
  • The policy was developed in partnership with James Cook University — with Adjunct Associate Professor Ed Wensing a co-author of the report — and under the umbrella of The Centre for Tropical Urban and Regional Planning (CTURP).

The Centre for Tropical Urban and Regional Planning (CTURP) is a multi-disciplinary research group within the College of Science and Engineering at James Cook University.

CTURP aims to contribute to improving planning practices in urban, regional and remote tropical locales.

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