Australia’s Closing the Gap targets will be redeveloped in partnership with Indigenous Australians with a direct focus on education.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the 2019 Closing the Gap report highlighted successes across the country but that refreshed targets were an opportunity to work together to accelerate progress.
“We cannot hide from the fact that on average at the moment Indigenous children do not have the same opportunities as other children growing up in our country,” the Prime Minister said.
“With only two of the seven Closing the Gap targets on track to be met, it’s time to refresh what we’re doing.
“We want a Closing the Gap framework that’s developed alongside Indigenous Australians with targets based on science. That’s why the partnership we took and agreed through the Council of Australian Governments late last year is so important. These things take time, and we are committed to getting it right.”
The Prime Minister said his focus through the refreshed targets would be on education as the key area that can drive generational change, kickstarted by a funding boost for a suite of Indigenous education initiatives.
The package includes:
- Teacher boost for remote Australia – Removing all or part of the HELP debt for 3,100 students to encourage more teachers to work and stay working in very remote areas
- Youth Education Package – $200 million extra support to give more Indigenous students the support and mentoring they need through their secondary studies
- Getting kids to school – Working community by community and school by school to invest $5 million in remote and very remote areas for projects that support and promote school attendance
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion also announced an additional commitment to the Indigenous business sector with the Indigenous Procurement Policy 2.0.
“The Indigenous Procurement Policy, better known as the IPP, has supercharged growth in the Indigenous business sector with 1,473 Indigenous businesses delivering 11,933 contracts worth over $1.83 billion since its establishment in 2015. This is a spectacular increase from the 30 Indigenous businesses winning just $6.2 million in contracts in 2012-13,” Minister Scullion said.
“So from 1 July 2019, the Indigenous Procurement Policy 2.0 will introduce a target of 3 per cent of the value of Commonwealth contracts are to be awarded to Indigenous businesses within a decade, adding to the existing IPP target that 3 per cent of the number of Commonwealth contracts are to go to Indigenous businesses.”
The full Closing the Gap report, as well as further information about the partnership to redevelop the report’s targets, are available on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website