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Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Latest Data

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Latest Data

Media release

The fourth 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 fourth Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report was released on 2 July. Commissioned by the Council of Australian Governments, the report's strategic framework is designed to track the extent to which government policies and programs are making a difference to Indigenous people where it counts.

Gary Banks, who chairs the inter-governmental Steering Committee responsible for the report, said 'this edition of the report embraces COAG's six 'closing the gap' targets. The latest trend data reveal mixed results for these and other indicators. In all areas there are still unacceptable disparities in outcomes for Indigenous and other Australians'.

The report finds that over the period reviewed, Indigenous people continued to share in Australia's general prosperity, with increases in employment, incomes and home ownership. Mr Banks said 'these further improvements in economic indicators are a positive sign. However, preserving the gains in more difficult economic times will be challenging'. He added 'a number of the key social indicators have shown little improvement, with a deterioration occurring in areas such as criminal justice'.

Mr Banks observed that data in some critical areas remain poor: 'There have been laudable efforts to improve data in recent years, but more work is needed. Improved methodologies suggest that Indigenous life expectancies are higher than previous estimates. But it is still not possible to say whether the gaps with non-Indigenous people have actually narrowed.'

Mr Banks praised the collaborative efforts of governments and the cooperation of all those who participated in report consultations. 'The report has benefited greatly from the feedback of many people within government and the wider community, and particularly from Indigenous people.'

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 from the Productivity Commission.

Background Information: Lawrence McDonald (Head of Secretariat) 03 9653 2178 / 0421 584 905

Other information and requests for interview: 02 6240 3330 /