Letter to the Opposition Leader on supporting a Path to Treaty

QCC Director Dave Copeman wrote to David Crisafulli MP, Opposition Leader, on his Party's decision not to support a Path to Treaty in Queensland. 

David Crisafulli MP
Opposition Leader
Via email: [email protected]


Dear David Crisafulli,

I write to express Queensland Conservation Council's significant disappointment and concern at your backflip on supporting a Path to Treaty in Queensland. This is a distressing announcement that reflects poorly on your leadership, and on the commitment of the Liberal National Party to work for reconciliation and justice for First Nations Queenslanders.

Queensland Conservation Council is committed to working in partnership with First Nations in Queensland, as one of our five key priorities in our current Strategic Plan, endorsed by our members and supporters.

When Traditional Owners have a say in decisions about their Country, there are stronger environmental outcomes. First Nations knowledge and care for Country goes back millenia, and is an important body of knowledge to address the extinction crisis we currently face, as the country leading the world in mammalian extinctions. We are confident that a Treaty process would allow for genuine negotiations around recognising and valuing this knowledge and connection to Country, and would lead to stronger conservation and climate outcomes.

We are also concerned at your public statement giving your rationale this decision included a number of concerning factors. You named the referendum campaign as "one of the most divisive debates in my life". Division was never a given in this referendum - in fact this was something that with true leadership could have brought all Australians together. The division you reference was deliberately manufactured and fomented by opponents of reconciliation, including the LNP federal leadership, such as opposition leader Peter Dutton, Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, LNP candidate Warren Mundine. This is not just QCC's opinion, it's also reflected in the rejection of the divisive approach taken by the Liberal and National parties by Ken Wyatt1, Julian Leeser MP2 and former Liberal Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull3 and John Hewson4. To reject the Path to Treaty because of the divisive actions of your own federal party leadership, and blame this on the Prime Minister, is an act of bad faith.

I would urge you to show leadership, and find a way to support progress for a path to reconciliation, to truth telling and ultimately for a Treaty with Queensland's First Nations communities. I would be happy to discuss my position with you or your office.

Yours truly,

Dave Copeman
Queensland Conservation Council

  1. Ken Wyatt accuses Liberals and Peter Dutton of creating 'fear and division' over voice
  2. Liberal MP Julian Leeser says no campaign’s American-style politics are ‘damaging’ Australia
  3. Op-Ed: I will be voting yes to establish an Indigenous voice to parliament
  4. Liberals’ ex-leader John Hewson: To win back voters we need to be more like Labor, especially on the Voice

Copy of the original letter sent from QCC (PDF 112k)