Govt launches reforms to improve lives of First Nations Australians

The Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan for 2023 has been presented by the Minister for Indigenous Australians. The Commonwealth’s strategic priorities and initiatives to bridge the deficit during the ensuing 12 to 18 months are set forth in this Implementation Plan, which is the first under the Albanese Government.

The Commonwealth Closing the Gap Annual Report 2022 was the impetus for the Implementation Plan, which lays out a realistic plan of action to better the lives of First Nations Australians.

The Implementation Plan includes new priority activities for each of the Priority Reforms, as well as cross-cutting result areas and socioeconomic outcomes (disability, gender and sexuality, ageing populations and remote Australia). An interactive Commonwealth Closing the Gap Actions Table, which lists all new and ongoing initiatives being made by the Commonwealth to assist Closing the Gap activities, is a useful addition to the Implementation Plan.

It takes too long for the gap to close. However, Amanda Rishworth, the minister of social services, and Linda Burney, the minister for indigenous Australians, claimed that there is still time to make changes.

On December 16, 2022, Ms. Pat Turner AM said, “I hope that the renewed focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and commitment for structural reform to embed these people as partners in decision-making that we’re currently seeing leads to increased action on the National Agreement next year.”

I have share the chairing duties for my first two Joint Council meetings in August and December 2022 with Ms. Pat Turner, Lead Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks.

I thank all partners for their cooperation, goodwill, and commitment to working together to advance actions, including the Coalition of Peaks members, the president of the Australian Local Government Association, and state and territory Ministerial colleagues (National Agreement).

A significant year in the history of our country will be 2023. The difficulties facing our people and the urgent need to speed up progress toward Closing the Gap will receive extraordinary attention as we approach a referendum on the Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Beyond the fundamental Commonwealth approach to Closing the Gap planning, the 2023 Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan goes further. In order to accelerate efforts to integrate the Priority Reforms and meet the socioeconomic targets, it lays out clear, doable measures.

We are putting the Implementation Plan at the center of this government’s ambitious objective to enhance outcomes for these people by submitting it at the very beginning of the parliamentary year.

Like the Voice, the National Agreement is predicated on the idea that better life outcomes can be obtained when First Nations peoples have a sincere voice in the design and delivery of services that affect them. It also acknowledges the importance of the sector run by the local community in achieving targets more quickly.

Government, of course, has a crucial role to play, and we’ll try to make sure the National Agreement is taken into account when decisions are made.

In the future, we expect to work with the Voice, whose counsel will highlight the significant progress the Coalition of Peaks has already made in drafting the National Agreement.

I’m looking forward to leading and organizing the Commonwealth’s part in more aggressive National Agreement action in 2023.

The Voice will assist in delivering the concrete steps that are necessary to enhance outcomes for First Nations people.

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