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Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2007

The third in the series of reports Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators has been released. Commissioned by the Council of Australian Governments, the Report's strategic framework helps track over time the extent to which government policies and other actions are making a difference to overcoming Indigenous disadvantage.

The Chairman of the inter-governmental Steering Committee responsible for the Report, Gary Banks, said 'In April this year, the Council of Australian Governments committed to close the outcomes gap between Indigenous people and other Australians over a generation. Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators is a report card against this objective. It shows how much progress has been made and how much further we need to go'.

Commenting on the results in the third edition, Mr Banks said, 'the positive news is that many Indigenous people have shared in Australia's recent economic prosperity, with improved employment outcomes and higher incomes. There have also been welcome improvements in some education and health outcomes for Indigenous children. Yet, even where improvements have occurred, Indigenous people continue to do worse than other Australians. And many indicators show little or no movement. Indeed, in some key areas, outcomes for Indigenous people have been deteriorating. Such results should challenge all Australians to do whatever is necessary to remedy the causes of Indigenous disadvantage'.

Gary Banks observed that data in some critical areas remain poor: 'We still do not have good comparative data on school attendance or learning outcomes by remoteness area. Hospitalisation data in NSW and Victoria are too poor to be published. While some laudable efforts to improve data are underway, more is needed'.

Mr Banks praised the cooperative efforts of governments and all those who participated in Report consultations. 'The Report benefited greatly from the feedback of many people within government and the wider community, and particularly from Indigenous people', he said.

The Report is a product of the Review of Government Service Provision. It is overseen by a Steering Committee comprising senior officials from the Australian, State and Territory governments and supported by a secretariat drawn from the Productivity Commission.

Background Information: Lawrence McDonald, Head of Secretariat, 03 9653 2178 / 0421 584 905
Requests for comment: 02 6240 3330 /