Over the past 6 months, YANQ has met with the Minister for Communities as well as senior public servants in charge of developing the youth strategy and has encouraged them to undertake comprehensive consultation with the NGO sector and young people. Unfortunately, the Queensland Government has missed an important opportunity to include in the recommissioning process and the development of the Youth Strategy genuine consultation that informs their policy and programs.
Instead, its very clear that the Government is trying to silence the voice of the sector by dismissing the historical knowledge that YANQ and other sector organisations have gathered over decades. Rather, the Government has enlisted the support of QCOSS and LGAQ and has sidelined the legitimate peak body for the sector, YANQ, due to the outcomes of our independent advocacy and consultation processes. At the end of 2012, YANQ undertook extensive consultations across many regions in Queensland about the recommissioning process. The evidence base was gathered and developed into a comprehensive report which was then tabled with the Government. Despite this, the Minister has been very hostile towards the report and towards the sector's own consultation processes, which have included recommendations to support the work of small community based NGOs.
Any further consultations and reports undertaken by QCOSS and LGAQ are being funded directly by the State Government and exist only as smokescreens to undermine the consultation work that the sector has already done. YANQ proposed the signing of a MOU between key peak bodies in March 2012 that would allow for a framework of collaboration and non-competition between the peaks, and to role model this for the sector. QCOSS refused, and have continually denied that have been working with the State Government to undermine the youth sector's own independent processes.
It is with great sadness we now see QCOSS and LGAQ breaking their word and partnering alongside Government to silence the youth sector. It is telling that in all the communiques on the recommissioning process released by QCOSS/LGAQ, there has not been one mention of YANQ, the existing consultation undertaken by the sector, or of the already published report/s the youth sector has on hand to allow us to stand strong in the recommissioning process.