Closing the Gap can be realised

Closing the Gap can be realised

Closing the Gap can be realised

Kevin Rudd committed Australia to reducing the difference in life expectancies between Aboriginal and non-indigenous people on February 13, 2008, when he made a historic apology to Australia's indigenous minority for past injustices.

On track are the targets to halve the gap in child mortality by 2018 and have 95 percent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025.

Three of the seven Closing the Gap targets were met in the past year compared with just one a year earlier.

In the eight years from 2008 to 2016, 101 billion USA dollars was spent by the government in an attempt to achieve the seven key targets to little avail.

The three unfulfilled goals, to close the gap school attendance, to halve the gap in unemployment rates and school literacy and numeracy results, will be reviewed.

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The tenth annual "Closing the Gap" report said Australia was failing to meet its targets in four-out-of-seven measures.

Among measures of continuing inequality, indigenous Australians can expect to live about 10 years less than non-indigenous Australians.

"A couple of simple things have turned it around", he told the ABC.

Mr Wyatt has defended the targets, and knocked back suggestions they were too ambitious.

"The reality is that when you have policies across generations of people created to remove the identity, created to disconnect them from family and culture, is that those impacts over generations will be felt for generations", Mr Wyatt said.

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"When they signed it [Closing the Gap strategy] it was a signalling of intent to achieve the highest possible benchmark even if it meant it was going to be challenging".

Australia is making some progress in improving health and education among its indigenous population, an annual report said today, but it is still missing most targets to reduce Aboriginal disadvantage a decade after launching a major campaign.

Mr Shorten will also recognise the 10th anniversary of the Closing the Gap strategy by announcing a $10 million commitment to a National Healing Fund in recognition of the inter-generational effects of forced removal.

The government said the policy would be revised with new goals later in 2018.

Survivors would be offered payments of $75,000 to resolve "unfinished business", including $7,000 for a one-off payment for funeral costs.

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Mr Shorten says in the past 10-years, state Labor and Liberal governments - apart from Victoria - have established different forms of compensation for members of the Stolen Generations.

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