World

Australia still struggling to improve Aboriginal lives, says report

Australia still struggling to improve Aboriginal lives, says report

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today hand down the 10th annual Closing the Gap report - showing three of the seven targets are on track - and Bill Shorten is expected to pledge to compensate Stolen Generation survivors in the NT and ACT.

This year's report card show progress to improve disadvantage varies widely across the country.

Which targets are on track?

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

"Three of the seven targets are on track this year, giving us the most promising result since 2011". "One is our failure a year ago, and the other is the work being done on the ground by organisations", he said.

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

"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".

"The solution to Closing the Gap rests within the imagination, ingenuity, passion and drive of indigenous people themselves", Turnbull told parliament on Monday. "But in all of them what you see is either some improvement, significant improvement, or a lot of improvement if not full realisation of the targets", he said.




"It's consistency which is required over time, not simply a massive chop and change depending on the political circumstances".

With three targets set to expire, the government plans to "refresh" its closing the gap strategy and decide whether targets need to be re-worked.

Mr Wyatt said some factors that contribute to child mortality, including homicide and road accidents, will always be out of the control of Governments and this target should be re-worked.

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.

But he also announced the extension of a successful policy that has allowed indigenous businesses to win more than A$1 billion ($1.08b) in government contracts since 2015.

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.

Under the new plan, about 150 survivors of the Stolen Generation will receive an ex gratia payment of $75,000 as well as a one-off payment of $7000 to ensure the costs of a funeral are covered.


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