A progress report on Australia’s Closing the Gap targets is due to be released this week but there are concerns the report will shed little light on how Australia is progressing with targets.
The July 2020 National Agreement on Closing the Gap commits all Australian governments and the Coalition of Peaks to working towards four priority reforms and 17 targets, with the Productivity Commission tracking progress on the targets and reforms.
But little data is likely to be released in the first Annual Data Compilation Report, after the Productivity Commission confirmed to NIT that the report would contain only data already released on the Closing the Gap dashboard.
The Commission’s data dashboard launched on June 23 with new data on just seven targets of the 17 socio-economic outcome areas — with only three of the 17 areas on track to meet their targets.
Of the targets with data reported, only targets on birthweight of newborns, numbers of children in pre-school, and numbers of children in detention were on track to be met.
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said the information repository provides the evidence and transparency needed to monitor progress towards Closing the Gap.
“This initiative brings all the data together into one place so that people can readily see the current situation and trajectories of indicators for each target, providing a level of transparency and access that we haven’t had before,” he said.
Shadow minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney says she is concerned the Federal Government is not committing more funds towards the targets.
“We need to see investment in housing, jobs and more ambition on justice improvements for children and adults,” she said.
By Sarah Smit