Closing the Gap Agreement
As Minister for Aboriginal Affairs I am pleased that the Premier has signed onto the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap on behalf of the NSW Government.
I’d like to thank all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, communities and individuals that have shared their voices to help us reach this historic new Agreement, the first between all three levels of Australian Governments and representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In planning for the new Agreement, governments agreed to do things differently, and ensure that past failures were not the focus.
After wide consultation with community, I am confident that the four priority reforms, revised targets and accountability mechanisms laid out in the Agreement will drive down the gap in life outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
I’m proud to see that many of the aspects of the Agreement are already in play in NSW, such as procurement initiatives and a strong Aboriginal community controlled sector that will drive social outcomes, economic development and employment. I also acknowledge that many of the ambitions of the Agreement cannot be met through business as usual and will require significant change.
Reaching this Agreement is however just the start. Aboriginal Affairs NSW will work closely with the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations (CAPO), NSW Government agencies and other parties to develop a Jurisdictional Implementation Plan by July 2021.
We have also committed to making public reports on our progress, and to holding regular reviews to make sure that we remain on track.
I am positive that this Agreement is a step in the right direction that will drive generational change and empowerment for Aboriginal communities across the state.