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Damning report on Close the Gap progress should drive rethink on refresh process: Greens

The ten year review for the Closing the Gap strategy should prompt an urgent reset by the Government, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“I am saddened but not surprised to read today that the Government ‘effectively abandoned’ Closing the Gap policy after five years. We all remember when they ripped half a billion dollars out of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander portfolio in 2014 and it was clear that matters were going to get worse rather than better. 

“Aboriginal and Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar gave a powerful speech this morning asking how could it be possible that the gap has widened? She outlined issues such as the partial and disjointed nature of implementation, lack of a plan, lack of continuity, and lack of infrastructure. 

“There is deep concern in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community about the way the Government is now going about its so called refresh process. It is essential that the Government reset that process in light of the damning report. 

“I strongly urge the Turnbull Government to adopt the recommendations outlined in the report released today. The Government needs to listen to our First Peoples who have been offering solutions on how to reach close the gap targets and genuinely Close the Gap. 

“We do not want to look back in another ten years and see that matters are even worse, it’s time to turn things around”. 


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