New Closing the Gap deal ‘to move country in new direction’

All state and territory governments have signed up to 16 targets aiming to improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Bigstock)

Australia will commit to reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates, suicides and child removals under a historic Closing the Gap agreement to be unveiled by the Prime Minister today. Source: ABC News.

All state and territory governments have signed up to 16 targets as part of the national agreement, which Indigenous groups say will “move the country in a new direction” to substantially improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The deal follows years of failure to meet most of the previous Closing the Gap targets, set in 2008. But Indigenous organisations say their direct involvement in negotiating and implementing the new agreement should prove a key difference this time around.

The ABC understands the new agreement will also aim to move hundreds of Indigenous adults and children out of prison within a decade.

For the first time, the target areas will include justice, out of home care, suicide, language preservation, housing and land rights, and are expected to include:

  • 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
  • Reducing Indigenous suicide rates
  • Reducing rates of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children
  • Increasing the use of Indigenous languages

The plan will also education and land rights measures, as well as some existing or slightly modified targets around life expectancy, literacy and numeracy, pre-school enrolments, adult employment and year 12 attainment, the ABC understands.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “Today finally marks a new chapter in our efforts to close the gap – one built on mutual trust, shared responsibility, dignity and respect


New Closing the Gap agreement features 16 new Indigenous welfare targets, including suicide rates and land rights (By Isabella Higgins, ABC News

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