CURTIS PITT LOSES INDIGENOUS PORTFOLIO IN STATE CABINET RESHUFFLE
CAPE York indigenous community leaders are hopeful of a more receptive ear in Brisbane after a cabinet reshuffle removed Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships portfolio.
Mr Pitt has retained his role as Treasurer and picked up Trade and Investment in the ministerial shake-up, while handing over the Sport portfolio to Housing Minister Mick de Brenni.
First-term Ferny Grove MP Mark Furner, who previously served a six-year term in the federal senate, will take over the Palaszczuk Government’s indigenous affairs reins, along with Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s former local government portfolio.
“Mark has big shoes to fill in both areas, but he is an extremely hard worker and is respected for his role as committee chair (man) and for his earlier work in the senate and the community,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Wayne Butcher said Mr Furner had visited Cape York during his stint as a senator and had “a fair bit of knowledge” relating to indigenous affairs and the peninsula.
“It’s a big job. It was probably a bit too much to ask Cur- tis trying to juggle the treasury and having the department,” Mr Butcher said.
“It’s probably the sensible thing to do and it works for us having Mr Furner as minister for local government and indigenous affairs. I think we’ll get a bit more focus from now on.”
Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Ralph Kendall said he would “wait and see how the new minister performed”.
The reshuffle was forced after former transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe’s resignation following months of problems with Brisbane’s rail system.
NEW ROLE: Curtis Pitt at the swearing in of state ministers at Government House yesterday.