Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Curtis Pitt joined in NAIDOC celebrations at the Wuchopperen health clinic in Cairns today.

Minister Pitt said NAIDOC week is an opportunity to showcase our unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and also to focus on the future.

“The future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is all about strong and resilient communities and that’s where the Cairns Program Office is making huge inroads,” Mr Pitt said.

“Local Cairns consultancy firms are helping to kick start local economies and paving the way for more and better housing in remote Cape York communities.

“The employment of six Cairns-based businesses will deliver a range of benefits to remote communities, including greater job opportunities and housing options.

“The surveying and town planning work undertaken by these businesses will help local councils make informed and transparent decisions about land use, housing and infrastructure and address the commercial and private development needs of each community,” he said.

“These consultancy projects are important for Cape York communities and important for the Cairns economy. It means local people will benefit from jobs, and families can move into new homes as houses are built in their community.

“The roll-out of the consultancy work will bring long-term benefits to Cape communities and I’m looking forward to seeing the housing projects take shape. That’s why the State Government has provided more than $1.56 million to enable local businesses to undertake the work in remote Cape York communities.”

The Cairns consultants will be employed in the Cape York communities of Napranum, Hope Vale, Doomadgee, Aurukun, Mapoon, Pormpuraaw and the Northern Peninsula Area including Bamaga, Injinoo, New Mapoon, Seisia and Umagico.

Mr Pitt said the consultancy projects undertaken across Cape York communities were creating stronger and more resilient communities.

“We are committed to closing the gap and we will continue to work closely with local businesses and community councils to achieve our aims,” he said.