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The report cover features artwork adapted from TUNUPA by Elizabeth Yanyi Close (Productivity Commission)

Just four Closing the Gap targets are on track and another four are going backwards, according to the latest data, with Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney saying a Voice to Parliament is needed to help fix the problems. Source: The Guardian.

The Productivity Commission has today released its latest Closing the Gap annual data compilation report. It found worsening outcomes in Indigenous early childhood development, increased numbers of adults in prison and children in out-of-home care, and an increase in Indigenous suicide.

“It is encouraging to see some progress in areas such as education and training and that overcrowding in housing has been reduced,” said Productivity Commissioner Romlie Mokak. “But progress needs to accelerate if the targets are to be met in these areas.”

The commission said, “Some states and territories are clearly falling behind on the target outcomes more than others”, noting worsening outcomes in the Northern Territory. Deteriorating out-of-home care rates in Victoria and South Australia were described by Commissioner Natalie Siegel-Brown as “particularly concerning”.

Ms Burney pointed to other “encouraging” outcomes, such as an increasing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25-64 in employment, a reduction in young people in detention and increasing preschool enrolments, but said other indicators were not improving enough.

“Progress has also been made towards a further seven targets, but not at the level required for the targets to be met on schedule,” she said. “Overall, the gap is not closing quickly enough.

“It is why we need a Voice to Parliament, to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are heard on the matters that affect their communities and better policy is developed.”


Closing the Gap: just four targets on track with four going backwards in latest report (By Josh Butler, The Guardian


Applying Catholic Social Teaching to the Voice Referendum and Reconciliation: Insights from Fr Frank Brennan SJ (CSSV)