CUR­TIS PITT LOSES IN­DIGE­NOUS PORT­FO­LIO IN STATE CAB­I­NET RESHUF­FLE

The Weekend Post - - Front Page - CHRIS CALCINO christo­pher.calcino@news.com.au

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.

Pic­ture: JONO SEARLE

NEW ROLE: Cur­tis Pitt at the swear­ing in of state ministers at Gov­ern­ment House yes­ter­day.

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