The new National Agreement was reached after evidence from the previous 12 years of the initial Close the Gap strategy not having achieved what had been hoped for. Announcing the new Agreement, former Prime Minister Morrison stated:
Without true partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, we will hamper our own progress.
The Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations, and all Australian governments (the Federal, State, Territory and Australian Local Government Association) committed to 17 targets under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, including the following:
- Target 1: Close the gap in life expectancy within a generation by 2031;
- Target 10: By 2031, reduce the rate of Aborignal and Torres Strait Islander adults held in incarceration by at least 15 per cent; and
- Target 14: Signficant and sustained reduction in suicide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people towards zero.
The foundation of these 17 targets are the four priority reform areas:
- shared decision making;
- building the community controlled sector;
- improving mainstream institutions; and
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led data.
Pat Turner AM, CEO of the National Alliance of Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO), stated:
The four priority reform areas, including for the first time a commitment to fighting structural racism, are game changers that the government is committing to.
For more on the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, read our Factsheet.