Gaps grow on new terms
New data shows key Closing the Gap targets are not on track.
The Productivity Commission has revealed incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults continue to rise, while a target to reduce suicide rates of Indigenous Australians has not been met, nor have measures to reduce the rates of children in out-of-home care, or the target to close the gap in life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Targets for healthy birth weights, the enrolment of children in the year before full-time schooling, and youth detention rates are on track.
The commission has released the first data since governments signed the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, which renewed the targets over a decade after the previous Closing the Gap targets were set.
Targets and indicators for the reform areas were agreed in November 2020.
“We don’t yet have data for reporting on these actions. Our initial focus will be on getting the data we need so we can track results,” said commissioner Romlie Mokak.
“Monitoring of implementation of these reforms will provide transparency and show whether parties to the Agreement have ‘walked the walk’,” said Michael Brennan, Chair of the Productivity Commission.
“The Agreement is now 12 months old, but the most recent available data for monitoring these socioeconomic outcomes are only just hitting the commencement date for the Agreement,” said Mr Mokak.
“It is likely to be some years before we see the influence of this Agreement on these outcomes.”
The full report is available in PDF form, here.