The Albanese Government has acknowledged there has been an “enormous failure” in attempts to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, as it unveiled a new plan to address First Nations’ disadvantage. Source: ABC News.
On yesterday’s 15th anniversary of then-prime minister Kevin Rudd’s historic apology to the Stolen Generations, the government released its Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, with $424 million in new money to address indigenous disadvantage across areas such as housing, food, education and water infrastructure.
The national apology in 2008 was an acknowledgement of how successive governments had failed Indigenous Australians, and a commitment to do better.
However, with the 2022 Closing the Gap Report showing limited progress on key targets for improving life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney conceded that promise had not been honoured.
She said the implementation plan was aimed at delivering real change, with $150 million over four years going towards creating water infrastructure for communities that do not have access to clean drinking water.
“I think it would be a shock to many people that there are many communities — remote Aboriginal communities in Australia — that do not have clean drinking water and cannot have dialysis because the water is not clean enough for the dialysis machines, despite the fact that renal failure is such an issue in our communities,” she said.
There is also federal funding of about $112 million for a one-year partnership with the Northern Territory government to accelerate the building of new remote housing, and almost $12 million to make essential food more affordable and accessible in remote communities.
Continued funding of $68.6 million over two years will go towards delivering legal and non-legal support to women and children experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence.
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians Malarndirri McCarthy said the plan would help “turn the tide” towards improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.
On the 15th anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generations, federal government unveils $424 million Closing the Gap plan (ABC News)
‘A game changer’: Federal government releases $424 million Closing the Gap plan (SBS News)