Gap goals expanded
The Closing the Gap goals have been changed.
State and territory governments have signed up to a new set of 16 targets to substantially improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It follows years of failure the achieve the previous 8 goals set out in 2008.
A big difference this time round is that Indigenous organisations had direct involvement in negotiating and implementing the new agreement.
Government across the country have agreed to implement measures to achieve the new goals of:
- Moving 30 per cent of young Indigenous prisoners out of detention by 2031
- Moving 15 per cent of Indigenous adults out jail by 2031
- Reducing by 45 per cent the number Indigenous children in out-of-home care by 2031
- Having 88 per cent of Aboriginal families not living in over-crowded homes by 2031
- Having 67 per cent of Indigenous youth in education, employment or training by 2031
- Having 70 per cent of young Indigenous people with a tertiary qualification by 2031
- Reducing Indigenous suicide rates
- Reducing rates of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children
- Increasing the use of Indigenous languages
- Improving land and sea rights for Indigenous people
The new plan also contains some revised versions of previous goals, including measures for life expectancy, literacy and numeracy, pre-school enrolments, adult employment and year 12 attainment.
The existing target to reduce infant mortality has been substituted for a healthy baby birth weight target.
The most recent Closing the Gap report showed just two targets were being met, in the areas of early education and Year 12 attainment.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new targets alongside the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, and Pat Turner, the convenor of a group of Indigenous organisations known as the Coalition of Peaks.
“Today finally marks a new chapter in our efforts to close the gap — one built on mutual trust, shared responsibility, dignity and respect,” Mr Morrison said
“The gaps we are now seeking to close are the gaps that have now been defined by the representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is as it should be.
“This creates a shared commitment and a shared responsibility.”
Coalition of Peaks convenor Pat Turner said; “Governments have been pushed in their commitments because the Coalition of Peaks have been at the negotiating table”.
“For the first time, First Nations people will share decision-making with governments on Closing the Gap.
“If the priority reforms are implemented in full by governments … we should see changes over time to the lives and experiences of our people.”
The state/territory and federal governments are now working on 12-month implementation plans for each area, in consultation with Indigenous organisations.