NACCHO political alert : PM Tony Abbott to Close the Gap- our challenge is to turn good intentions into better outcomes,

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”Our challenge is to turn good intentions into better outcomes, For the gap to close, we must get kids to school, adults to work and the ordinary law of the land observed.

We should want nothing less for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than we want for every Australian. While there has been a small improvement in indigenous life expectancy, the report says progress will need to ”accelerate considerably” if the gap is to be closed by 2031.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers the annual report on progress towards closing the gap in Federal Parliament today

MINING magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has handed the Abbott government an interim report warning drug use and dependency is rising and devastating indigenous communities and calling for the dole to be banned for indigenous teenagers who drop out of school.

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SMH :Failure to narrow gap on Aboriginal education

Australia has made no progress towards halving the employment gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians within a decade, six years after the effort began.

When Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers the annual report on progress towards closing the gap in Federal Parliament today, he will also describe as ”disappointing” progress on reading, writing and numeracy.

Mr Abbott will report that while progress has been made in some areas, ”it is clear we are still failing in too many”.

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”Our challenge is to turn good intentions into better outcomes,” he  writes in his first Prime Minister’s report on progress towards closing the gap. ”For the gap to close, we must get kids to school, adults to work and the ordinary law of the land observed.

 ”We should want nothing less for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than we want for every Australian.”

The report shows the nation is on track to meet two of the six targets, relating to child mortality and year 12 completion.

There have  been positive early signs on preschool enrolments but data to show whether this target has been met will not be available until later this year.

While there has been a small improvement in indigenous life expectancy, the report says progress will need to ”accelerate considerably” if the gap is to be closed by 2031.

All Australian governments committed to the six targets after the national apology in 2008.

In his reply, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will urge Mr Abbott to adopt three new targets proposed by Labor, relating to higher education, criminal justice and disability support. He will defend Labor’s record and plead with Mr Abbott not to discard the work of the Rudd and Gillard governments.

”I beseech the government – please don’t start again just because you can,” he will say. ”Please don’t go back to a blank piece of paper, just to enhance your claim to authorship.”

Signalling Labor would not automatically support Coalition measures on indigenous affairs, Mr Shorten will appeal to Mr Abbott to empower Aboriginal people to find their own solutions.

”Aboriginal people deserve better than being told it’s as simple as ‘go to school, go to work and obey the law’,” Mr Shorten will say. ”One size does not fit all.”

In a thinly veiled criticism of the Coalition’s efforts to lift school attendance, Mr Shorten will argue fostering a love of learning in children would do more  than ”limited interaction with a time-poor truancy officer”.

Mr Shorten will also argue ”a sense of urgency” is required to achieve the recognition of the first Australians in the nation’s founding document.

”We risk missing a unifying moment,” he will say. ”We must be resolute  and swift. Because justice delayed is justice denied.”

Mr Abbott has identified constitutional recognition as one of his priorities and has promised to release  a draft proposal for public consultation by September.

Twiggy urges action to save indigenous drop-outs

Twiigy

From the Australian  PATRICIA KARVELAS

MINING magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has handed the Abbott government an interim report warning drug use and dependency is rising and devastating indigenous communities and calling for the dole to be banned for indigenous teenagers who drop out of school.

With Tony Abbott to deliver his first Closing the Gap statement to parliament today, on the progress towards meeting the bold ambitions established by the previous government, Mr Forrest has told The Australian he is seeking urgent talks with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten because he is concerned bipartisanship on closing the indigenous jobs gap is at risk.

The Abbott government appointed Mr Forrest to review the nation’s indigenous jobs regime. Indigenous academic Marcia Langton is producing the report with him. It is due by April.

In his speech today the Prime Minister will reveal that while progress has been made on some objectives, “it is clear we are still failing in too many”. While there had been a small improvement in indigenous life expectancy, progress will need to accelerate considerably if the gap is to be closed by 2031.

He will report that progress towards the target to halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade has been disappointing. Only two out of eight areas have shown significant improvement since 2008.

And he will reveal that no progress has been made against the target to halve the employment gap within a decade.

In an interview with The Australian yesterday Mr Forrest said his interim report calls for an overhaul of the entire welfare system. He suggests a ban on early school-leavers accessing welfare unless they commit to training for a real guaranteed job.

Mr Forrest said unless the incentive for leaving school to go on welfare was completely removed, indigenous teenagers would continue to drop out.

He said he had received countless reports that a major drugs crisis was gripping indigenous Australia.

“Yes, there is a massively growing drug problem and a failure by many in the indigenous communities to be able to handle it. It’s overwhelming communities,” Mr Forrest said.

He said the problem was mainly marijuana but harder drugs including methamphetamine were also spreading rapidly.

“The indigenous community is clearly being targeted by the most immoral of our society to make a short-term buck out of it.”

He said his bold Australian Employment Covenant project, established when Kevin Rudd was prime minister to create thousands of “real jobs” for indigenous people, had been hampered because the previous government had failed to reform the employment training system to match the demands of bosses.

“We missed an opportunity to quickly grow indigenous employment over the last six or seven years of the serious growth of the economy,” he said.

“My enormous concern is that politics will be played with this and we won’t achieve immediate bipartisan support.

“I’m trying to brief Bill Shorten, I’m trying to brief Tony Abbott, and unless it comes to their attention to not use this as partisan politics, then we will see … an increase in the misery.”

One comment on “NACCHO political alert : PM Tony Abbott to Close the Gap- our challenge is to turn good intentions into better outcomes,

  1. It is crucial point of interest to make clear that industry will always want cheap labor that is skilled and who are often brought in from outside human resources. This point in case serves to economic areas of interest and 1st being its cheap and 2nd any complaints given by these migrants find it difficult to complain for fear of reprisals and lose of income to send home to a cash starved work force. Industry if not owned by Indigenous People will not allow another interest (Indigenous People’s) group to dominate and any chances of advancements will likely not happen. Lands that historically been occupied by Indigenous People have struggled to maintain its holdings when taken by force by way of laws imposed to reflect a historical downward trend in ownership and eventual lose of control of all aspects of the community stability. When a Dominant Society begins to reverse these dominant efforts to control every aspects of Indigenous Community affairs than will real concrete changes be evident. If you own industry you naturally want to hire your own people which will safe guard your short and long term economic benefits as it can be evident in every business venture?