Topics: Australia, Education, Indigenous

Australia's indigenous targets far from being met

By Peata Melbourne

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has delivered a bleak outlook on closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australian's, and he acknowledges the Government has a lot of work to do.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, "Even with tens of thousands of dedicated Australians seeking to contribute and engage, we are still not making enough progress." 

The report has seven indicators of indigenous disadvantage.

"The target to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031 will not be met," says Turnbull.

Despite being on track in previous years, the target to halve the gap in child mortality won't be met either, and there's been no progress in school attendance. 

While there have been improvements in reading and numeracy, halving the gap by 2018 appears unlikely.

The target on employment will not be met either and there's slow progress on getting 95% of four-year-olds into education. But there is one positive, with the government is on track to halve the gap on finishing year 12 by 2020. 

Turnbull says, "My Government will not shy away from our responsibility. And we will uphold the priorities of education, employment, health and the right of all people to be safe from family violence."

Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says closing the gap needs a new approach. 

He says, "We must forget the insulting fiction that the First Australians are a problem to be solved. And instead, a new approach, to listen to people who stand on the other side of the gap."

Congress Co-Chair, Jackie Huggins says, "We come along every year and we hear the same old same old (58) in terms of how less we have improved (03) whilst there have been some positive changes as I said the negatives totally overpower this."

"We drew a line in the sand today, we've been coming here for 9 long years to hear the same old, sad old story that our grandparents knew about," says Naccho CEO Pat Turner.

Vals CEO Wayne Muir says, "Enough is enough. We have to invest and we have to work collaboratively, side by side."