NACCHO Alert : Refresh #CloseTheGap Aboriginal Health targets in 2018 : How can you help to shape the future of the #ClosingtheGap agenda ?

 

” The national attempt to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage has largely failed and the Turnbull government is being warned that a proposed “refresh” of the scheme, intended to address its decade-long shortcomings, faces equally poor results.

Ten years after Kevin Rudd ­delivered the first prime minister’s Closing the Gap report to parliament, only one of seven targets is on track to be met, four more are due to expire in June with no hope of being achieved and all levels of government, as well as Indigenous leaders, are arguing over how to proceed.”

From the Australian 1 January 2018 see article in full Part 1 Below

 ” This is a great opportunity for people to share their ideas and opinions”

Andrea Mason, Co-Chair Indigenous Advisory Council and CEO of NPY Women’s Council

Share your views

Submissions close 5pm 31 March 2018

 ” The Australian Government, on behalf of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), is asking all Australians for their views to help construct the next phase of the Closing the Gap agenda and has released a COAG discussion paper to support ongoing consultations that have been held this year and will continue into 2018.

Over the past decade, important progress has been made in improving health, employment and education outcomes for First Australians since Australian governments agreed to a Closing the Gap framework to address Indigenous disadvantage.

However, it is clear that the Closing the Gap agenda can be better designed and more effectively delivered. This is a view shared among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, governments and the broader community.”

Download the Discussion paper

ctg-next-phase-discussion-paper

Working together

Another step in this process is to consider how governments can improve program implementation. Six implementation principles have been developed to guide the new Closing the Gap agenda.

The principles are:

  • Funding prioritised to meet targets
  • Evidence-based programs and policies
  • Genuine collaboration between governments and communities
  • Programs and services tailored for communities
  • Shared decision-making
  • Clear roles, responsibilities and accountability

Fact sheets

Data for the fact sheets are based on the Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2017.

Targets

View Close the Gap Video from Indigenous leadership

Part 1 Closing the Gap: Indigenous targets mostly unmet

The poor result comes despite annual direct government spending on indigenous Australians of $33.4 billion, an increase of 23.7 per cent since the first expenditure survey when the program began and a figure twice that for non-indigenous Australians.

There are concerns that simply revising targets, rather than ­addressing policy failures responsible for the disadvantage gaps, will deepen the dire situation.

Indigenous leaders have urged Malcolm Turnbull to reconsider measures suggested in last year’s Uluru Statement from the Heart and presented to the Prime Minister in the Referendum Council’s subsequent report. They say the proposals, which include an indigenous advisory voice to parliament, would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a greater say in policies that affect them.

“The Uluru outcome was a sophisticated roadmap to closing the gap,” Referendum Council member and constitutional law expert Megan Davis told The Australian.

“The dialogues said politicians and the bureaucracy have shown after 10 years they are not up to it. Refresh isn’t a priority, ­reform is a priority, otherwise we will be subjected to the annual ritualism of Prime Minister’s reporting on little or no progress.”

The Australian can reveal that a coalition of concerned peak organisations and leaders has written to Mr Turnbull ahead of this year’s 10th annual report, expected next month, expressing their fears the reboot will merely reflect “the aspirations of the federal government” rather than the needs of First Peoples.

They say public consultation on the missed targets is being rushed, indigenous communities are not being adequately briefed on the process and a public discussion paper contains leading questions and foregone conclusions.

West Australian Labor senator Patrick Dodson was excluded from one consultation, in his home town of Broome, on the basis that he was a member of parliament — despite being a key ­indigenous leader in the region — raising questions about Mr Turnbull’s insistence the “voice” proposal was unnecessary since there were already indigenous MPs.

“They’ve just gone deaf,” Senator Dodson said yesterday. “There may be things about Uluru that are complicated and hard but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be going through them.”

The letter, on behalf of the “Redfern Statement Alliance” which includes the indigenous Close the Gap steering committee, warns that the government’s ­refresh discussion paper “was not developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders … is prescriptive and centres on the theme of ‘prosperity’ within a narrow economic frame”.

The only Closing the Gap target currently on track to be met is halving the gap for year 12 or equivalent attainment by 2020, currently tracking up from 45.4 per cent to 61.5 per cent from 2008 to 2014-15. The other failing targets are closing the gap in life expectancy by 2031 and having 95 per cent of indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025.

Australian National University professor Nicholas Biddle said the 10-year program had brought some positives but warned that “targets alone don’t guarantee good policy”.

Cape York leader Noel Pearson has thrown his weight behind opposition to a purely targets-based focus, telling an audience last week the current approach amounted to “the political and cultural right bang(ing) on … about better health, better education, more responsibility, blah blah blah” without addressing “the structural problem” of a lack of policy participation.

Part 2 Shaping the future of the Closing the Gap agenda 

The Australian Government, on behalf of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), is asking all Australians for their views to help construct the next phase of the Closing the Gap agenda and has released a COAG discussion paper to support ongoing consultations that have been held this year and will continue into 2018.

Over the past decade, important progress has been made in improving health, employment and education outcomes for First Australians since Australian governments agreed to a Closing the Gap framework to address Indigenous disadvantage.

However, it is clear that the Closing the Gap agenda can be better designed and more effectively delivered. This is a view shared among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, governments and the broader community.

In 2008, the original Closing the Gap targets were developed without consultation from Indigenous Australians and without the direct involvement of state and territory governments – which meant targets were not as effective or as well directed as they should have been.

A new approach to Closing the Gap must value the aspirations, strengths and successes of First Australians. Importantly, it must be built on meaningful conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

New Closing the Gap targets will drive better outcomes for Indigenous communities because, for the first time, state and territory governments will establish targets in areas for which they are responsible and all targets will be designed to drive change, with specific action plans to support targets.

Consultations have been ongoing for a number of months including through specific roundtables held in Broome, Dubbo and Cairns in November and December 2017. More sessions are scheduled across the nation in the coming months. Consultations will also continue with national peak bodies, and regional and local engagements led by state and territory governments.

We are committed to working with First Australians, state and territory governments and the broader community to develop a meaningful and robust framework for the future, and encourage all Australians to share their views.

Visit closingthegaprefresh.pmc.gov.au to access the discussion paper and find out more.

 

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