Payment to First Nations People working with DES

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) respects and values First Nations knowledges and cultures. We are committed to creating and maintaining strong partnerships with First Nations organisations and communities. We work together with First Nations peoples across Queensland on significant projects and initiatives that benefit all people.

We share a common purpose—keeping Country safe. We also share a vision—better and shared governance and management of Country.

This means that together, we hold Country and its people at the centre of all we do, including the decisions that we make together. By working in this way, we are building a strong and shared future.

The initiatives outlined in the department’s Gurra Gurra Framework 2020–2026 demonstrate our commitment to working in genuine partnership with First Nations people to grow our relationship and achieve stronger outcomes.

Acknowledging the value and importance of this partnership and the collective expertise it brings, the department has reviewed and strengthened its policy, so that First Nations people are appropriately paid for the provision of expertise and services (note: this process does not apply to procurement activities, which will continue to fall under the Queensland Government Procurement Policy).

Based on the range of services required, the department may pay a set rate depending on the duration of the service and/or may reimburse outlays such as travel and/or accommodation costs.

Typical services/activities/products include:

  • Provision of:
    • cultural and specialist services and advice on behalf of Country and people
    • specialist cultural heritage activities, information and advice to assist departmental compliance obligations under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003
    • advice and/or recommendations at the department’s invitation, to develop or provide feedback on departmental strategies, plans or works requiring specialised knowledge of a specific community, language group, or Country.
  • Engagement with the department on agreement-making activities over the protected area estate
  • Delivery of speeches or presentations relating to specialised knowledge of a specific community, language group, or Country
  • Cultural ceremonies/performances
  • On-Country familiarisation, survey and investigation trips at the department’s invitation.

Where significant or specialised services are required, the department may negotiate an appropriate rate.

For more information please speak with your departmental contact.

Further information is also available from the department’s Partnerships Branch via email: