NACCHO CEO Pat Turner says at least $5bn and a commitment to work with communities is needed to get anywhere in Closing the Gap.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
14 May 2019 - 1:30 PM  UPDATED 14 May 2019 - 1:30 PM

About 40 peak bodies from all avenues of Indigenous affairs came together in Melbourne on Monday to discuss a new Closing the Gap agreement.

The Peaks were the negotiators of the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap last year, and have not sat face to face since.

They met to discuss what they want to achieve in a new Closing the Gap agreement, with NACCHO CEO Pat Turner calling for a bigger commitment from the government, whoever that may be following the election on Saturday.

"Neither side of politics, either the Liberals, or the Nationals, or the ALP [have announced] the commitment they will make over the next 10 years to Close the Gap," Ms Turner told NITV News.

"We need both sides of politics to come out in the last week and give us a very clear indication of how much money they're going to invest in Closing the Gap, and that they're going to continue to work in partnership with us.

"And that Aboriginal people are central to the co-design, the monitoring and the evaluation, but also making sure that government changes the way it works with our people."

Ms Turner said that the partnership between Aboriginal people and the government needs to be at every level, and hopes this is implemented in a Close the Gap 'refresh'.

"From the community level, to the regional level, to the state level, to the national level. If it doesn't work in partnership with us, then it will be doomed to failure," she said.

"They can start with $5 billion. That would be a good start, and a lot of that money needs to be invested directly into Aboriginal communities through our organisations and in terms of fixing up the infrastructure in our communities."

They hope for a new agreement to be signed by the Coalition of Peaks and the Council of Australian Governments, and for it to be implemented later this year.

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