Australia

PM set to announce refresh of Closing the Gap targets on Indigenous disadvantage

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver the 11th annual Closing the Gap report on Thursday. (AAP)

Efforts to close the health and education gap for Indigenous Australians were "doomed to fail" and need revising, Scott Morrison will say.

Efforts to close the health and education gap for Indigenous Australians will be revised and broadened to get more input from the people they're meant to help.

Just two of the seven Closing the Gap targets are on track to be met, more than a decade after the original report.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver the 11th annual Closing the Gap report on Thursday, detailing proposed changes to how it works.

The report shows efforts to get more Indigenous children into early education are on track, but improving life expectancy, infant mortality and employment status were not.

Mr Morrison will say the targets need to be revised to make states and territories more accountable, and give Indigenous Australians more ownership of them.

"The Closing the Gap targets have been well intentioned but 'top down', so it was always doomed to fail in both its ambitions and also its process," Mr Morrison will say on Thursday.

"It didn't genuinely bring on board states and territories in making sure they have accountabilities and sharing the objective and process with Indigenous Australians."

Mr Morrison says the current way of measuring the targets masks progress, discouraging further efforts.

For instance, child mortality among Indigenous Australians has decreased 10 per cent since 2008 - but the target is not on track because the non-Indigenous figure has declined at a faster rate.

The "refresh" of the Closing the Gap targets, announced in 2016, will ask Indigenous Australians to develop the targets.

It will also hold different levels of government to account, and include new priorities on housing, employment, family violence and land and water rights.

The draft targets include an effort to reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in detention by 11 to 19 per cent, and adults held in incarceration by at least five per cent by 2028.

Closing the gap targets

  • Early education: 95 per cent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025. ON TRACK.
  • Year 12 attainment: Halve the gap in Year 12 attainment by 2020. ON TRACK.
  • Life expectancy: Close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation by 2031. NOT ON TRACK.
  • Child mortality rates: To halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade, by 2018. NOT ON TRACK
  • Employment: Halve the gap in employment by 2018. NOT ON TRACK
  • Reading and Numeracy: Halve the gap in reading and numeracy for Indigenous students by 2018. NOT ON TRACK
  • School attendance: Close the gap in school attendance within five years, by 2018. NOT ON TRACK 

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