Peak indigenous groups are meeting with the prime minister in Canberra in a bid to finalise a new agreement on Closing the Gap.
Thursday’s meeting comes ahead of the next Council of Australian Governments meeting in March, when the new agreement is expected to be given the stamp of approval.
“I have a simple goal – I want indigenous boys and girls to grow up with the same opportunities in life as every other Australian,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said as he kicked off the meeting.
“We have such a huge job, which has been the task of governments for many years.”
Mr Morrison says he doesn’t want the government to tell the indigenous community what needs to occur, but for Aboriginal Australians to decide priorities.
“So understanding what that gap is – from indigenous communities – is terribly important to my government.”
The meeting builds on work from last August where three areas of reform were decided for the new agreement.
* Developing and strengthening structures to ensure the full involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in shared decision making at the national, state and local or regional level and embedding their ownership, responsibility and expertise to close the gap:
* Building the formal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled services sector to deliver Closing the Gap services and programs in agreed priority areas:
* And ensuring all mainstream government agencies and institutions undertake systemic and structural transformation to contribute to Closing the Gap.
Last year’s Closing the Gap report showed just two of the seven targets were on track to be met, prompting Mr Morrison to call for a new approach.
The Closing the Gap strategy has been in place since 2008, seeking to better deliver health, education and job outcomes by getting all levels of government to work more closely.
Australian Associated Press
Credit: Source link