Queensland to contribute nearly $10 million towards Closing Gap agreement

The Palaszczuk Government will support the implementation of the new national Closing the Gap agreement, with $9.3 million as part of a national joint funding effort with the federal government and other states and territories.

The Federal Government today announced that it would provide $46.5 million over four years to building the capacity of the Indigenous community-controlled sector, to be matched by the state and territory jurisdictions, based on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said that investment in building an effective community-controlled sector will be critical to improving life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“We know that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in determining their own futures, we see positive results,” Mr Crawford said.

“The new national agreement on Closing the Gap will see State and Territory Governments commit to 16 targets that include reducing the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration.

“The agreement doubles the number of targets set in 2008 and sees Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people play the lead role in decision-making.

“We stand ready to partner with communities and local leadership to work towards targets based on equality and fairness as well as better life outcomes for all First Nations people.

“It highlights the national efforts to improve whole-of-life outcomes for First Nations people and the push by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to improve education, housing, health and prevent domestic and family violence.

“The agreement reflects the Queensland Government’s commitment to significant reforms towards reframing the relationship in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Our state is proudly home to the nation’s second largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and we are committed to a new way of working with First Nations people to deliver change and outcomes,” he said.

“Supported by Path to Treaty and Local Thriving Communities, Queensland’s community-led approach to Closing the Gap is underpinned by the strengths, knowledge and rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Mr Crawford said in Queensland, positive progress has been made towards Closing the Gap with more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enrolled in vital early education and attaining Year 12 or equivalent qualifications.

Hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Elders, community members and service providers and community-controlled organisations shared their voices through online and community consultation to inform the new agreement.

The National Joint Council on Closing the Gap of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Ministers, Coalition of Peaks and the Australian Local Government Association will oversee implementation of the new agreement.

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