New Close The Gap Agreement
However, there are no immediate new ways to support the agreement. The agreement follows years in which most of the previous gap closing targets set in 2008 were not met. However, Indigenous organizations say their direct participation in the negotiations and implementation of the new agreement should make a decisive difference this time. The new agreement, supported by both sides, also provides for new accountability mechanisms to keep governments on track and a commitment to combat structural racism within mainstream government organizations. “The way in which all levels of government and Torres Strait Islander Aboriginal and Representatives have come together to negotiate this national agreement and work together to determine how we want to fill this gap is a testament to our commitment to cooperate through meaningful partnerships,” said Minister Wyatt. The national agreement sets out a strategy to bridge the gap, which relies heavily on and is underpinned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands priorities. It is based on four new priority reforms to change the way governments work with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to improve outcomes. Priority reforms were massively supported during the commitments. “The national agreement marks a turning point in our country`s efforts to fill these gaps. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new gap closing agreement was a historic achievement. “The national accord may not contain everything our people want or need to change our lives in a sustainable way, but it is a big step forward.” The minister said there were no funds related to the agreement yet.
Under the agreement, national/regional and federal governments committed to develop, in consultation with indigenous organizations, 12-month implementation plans for each territory. “I think the glaring gap was accountability,” he told ABC RN Breakfast. “Certainly, the former prime minister [Kevin Rudd] reached an agreement with every state and territory. But the primary responsibility lies with the Commonwealth. The agreement promises to increase the level of reporting to improve transparency and accountability. The Productivity Commission will assess progress every three years and there will be a review of changes on the ground led by indigenous people.