Meeting of Joint Council on Closing Gap

Roger Jaensch, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to delivering better outcomes for Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their families.

Yesterday in Adelaide, alongside our Coalition of Peaks partner, I had the honour of representing Tasmania at the meeting of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap.

At yesterday’s meeting, states and territories provided updates to the Joint Council on their progress against the Strategic Plan for Developing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Sector.

Considerable work has been done since the Agreement commenced, and members present reinforced their commitment to working together to progress actions under the National Agreement. We also welcomed our new Commonwealth co-chair, Minister Linda Burney MP.

We are focussed on progressing Tasmania’s Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, which includes $5.3 million to build the capacity of Aboriginal community organisations to play a greater role in the delivery of services to their communities.

The Joint Council also considered and approved the details of the new Policy Partnerships for Early Childhood Care and Development and Social and Emotional Wellbeing to be established by the end of the year.

The minimum age of criminal responsibility and detention was also discussed. The Tasmanian Government has already committed to raising the minimum age of detention from 10 to 14 as part of our comprehensive reform of the Youth Justice System in Tasmania.

Recognising the importance of a collaborative and joint approach, the Joint Council also agreed to establish a shared resourcing arrangement for training, capability and research that will benefit all Parties to the National Agreement over an initial three years.

Our Government is clear on its commitments under the National Agreement and will continue working in partnership with Aboriginal people to Close the Gap in Tasmania.

I look forward to progressing further actions under the National Agreement at the next Joint Council in December 2022.

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