By Aline Rodrigues
Queensland has launched its first “Closing the Gap Implementation Plan” that aims to reduce disadvantage among Indigenous peoples with respect to child mortality, childhood education, life expectancy and health.
It is a crucial milestone in nationwide efforts to Close the Gap in life outcomes between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples.
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Craig Crawford, said the plan details the state’s actions in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations towards achieving the Priority Reforms and national targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
“We are doing things with people and not to them. We have partnered with Queensland’s peak community-controlled organisations to develop the plan, which will be updated annually, to reflect the experiences and ambitions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.”
Still, according to Minister Crawford, working together is essential to improve health, housing, education, post-school qualifications, early childhood, employment, child protection, justice, languages, suicide prevention, domestic and family violence prevention, digital inclusion and land and water interests.
The 2021-22 State Budget includes $300 million to establish a Path to Treaty Fund — a significant investment in reconciliation and healing to provide a strong foundation for the treaty-making process in Queensland.
“Self-determination and community-led decision-making are at the heart of Queensland’s Path to Treaty, Local Thriving Communities reform and our state’s plan of action towards achieving national Closing the Gap targets”, Mr Crawford said.
View the Queensland Closing the Gap Implementation Plan at www.qld.gov.au/ctg
The new National Agreement on Closing the Gap has increased targets from 7 to 17 following extensive national community consultation. It is the first Agreement developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, represented by the National Coalition of Peaks.
Queensland’s progress to date includes:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders experienced the greatest improvement in life expectancy Australia-wide in recent years
- Early childhood education enrolment has significantly increased in Queensland since 2016, with Queensland on track to achieve the target of 95 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled by 2025
- Proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 25–34-year-olds in Queensland with tertiary qualifications has more than doubled since 2001
- Queensland’s proportion of land under Native Title has significantly increased since 2011.