• Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt and Coalition of Peaks lead convener Pat Turner. (AAP)Source: AAP
The Coalition of Peaks has welcomed the establishment of a funding pool for the refreshed closing the gap targets, but say the $50 million commitment by the federal and Victorian governments is just a start on what is needed to deliver them.
Keira Jenkins

6 Aug 2020 - 6:21 PM  UPDATED 6 Aug 2020 - 6:31 PM

Almost $50 million has been promised to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations, as part of a joint 'funding pool' by Australian governments as part of the refreshed Closing the Gap strategy.

The Federal government announced their initial contribution of $46.5 million over four years, while the Victorian government promised $3.3 million.

CEO of the Aborigines Advancement League, one of the 50 organisations that makes up the Coalition of Peaks, Esme Bamblett said the funding is welcome.

"I think it's really good that we've got that commitment from the government, it's been a long time coming," she told NITV News.

Dr Bamblett said this is just the beginning of what the funding that will be needed, and is expecting other states and territories, all of which committed to the new Closing the Gap targets, to add to the funding pool.

The lead convener of the Coalition of Peaks, Pat Turner, also welcomed the funding, saying it would help deliver on the National Agreement on Closing the Gap Priority Reform Two.

“The Coalition of Peaks fought hard to put Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations at the centre of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap," she said.

"They deliver better services for our people, get better outcomes, protect our cultures and employ more First Nations people in their home communities.

“This new funding for the initial delivery of Priority Reform Two will help strengthen and build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector to deliver additional services to First Nations people, including in new areas like housing and early childhood.

“The joint funding pool complements the commitments in the National Agreement on Priority Reform Two which will also bring additional funding to community-controlled organisations over time and provide more jobs for First Nations people.” 

For Dr Bamblett, she said, the importance of adequately funding and resourcing community controlled organisations can't be overstated.

"It's the community controlled organisations that are dealing every day with our people," she said.

Every day they're providing services. They're providing services to the most vulnerable of our mob and to strengthen that is really important for us."

The design and implementation of the funding pool will be done in partnership between governments and the Coalition of the Peaks.

The funding comes after the the unveiling of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap which was signed last week.

Revamped Closing the Gap targets negotiated with Indigenous Australians to be unveiled
Sixteen new targets will be set, with all levels of government accountable for improving the health and welfare outcomes of Indigenous Australians.