has been 12 years since we commenced this national effort to close the gap in
quality of life outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
While we have made some progress, these latest results are unacceptable.
These are not just statistics. These are people – sons and daughters, brothers
and sisters, aunties and uncles.
If we want to see real progress on Closing the gap, we must properly understand how the consequences of dispossession; the removal from country and culture; the misguided policies – no matter how well-intentioned – have transcended generations and can still be seen and felt today.
We cannot understand the challenges of today, if we do not understand that their causes remain rooted in the past.
We must stop repeating the mistakes of the past. We must genuinely listen to First Nations Australians.
We welcome the partnership between the Coalition of Peaks and Government.
And Labor looks forward to supporting new and ambitious targets and structural changes to close the gap, including in the important areas of child removal and incarceration.
A direct and secure voice to decision makers will build on the work of the Peaks, and ensure that the issues and perspectives of First Nations people are not left to languish on the fringes.
And genuine commitment means that local and regional services and programs are adequately resourced and properly funded. It is difficult to accept a commitment as genuine when half a billion dollars was cut from the Indigenous affairs budget by this Government.
We are all challenged to do better with more diligence and speed.