• The Victorian government says there was a 60 per cent increase from 2019 to 2020 in the number of cultural burns. (NITV: Keira Jenkins)Source: NITV: Keira Jenkins
The Andrews government announces a multi-million dollar funding boost to continue its support for the National Agreement.
NITV Staff Writer

24 Jun 2021 - 2:30 PM  UPDATED 24 Jun 2021 - 2:35 PM

The Victorian government has announced that it will deliver an additional $5 million to support reaching targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

The new funding builds on the $3.3 million announced in 2020, when Victoria became the first state or territory to provide funding to the National Agreement, which aims to use self-determined solutions to tackle Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

“We’re achieving better outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians by empowering Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to take a leadership role in driving change,” said the state’s ambassador for Closing the Gap, Christine Couzens.

In a written media release on Thursday, the state government described the funding as having been vital to making some of the significant progress highlighted in the Victorian Government Aboriginal Affairs Report 2020 possible.

The annual report tracks Victoria’s progress in improving health, education and other outcomes for and with Aboriginal people, and the 2020 report shows significant improvements for Aboriginal Victorians in many areas.

Victoria’s Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Gabrielle Williams, said the Andrews Labor government had made “significant progress” towards Closing the Gap for First Nations people within the state over the past 12 months on major issues such as treaty, truth and justice.

The written statement said improvements also included progress in early education, with more than 99 per cent of Aboriginal children enrolled in four-year-old kindergarten; preventative healthcare, with more than 96 per cent of Aboriginal children having received the required vaccinations by five years of age; and land management, which saw a 60 per cent increase in the number of cultural burns from 2019 to 2020.

However, Ms Williams said there was “still a lot of work to do.”

“We’re working with Aboriginal people to achieve change and ensure a healthy, safe, and thriving future,” she said.

The additional funding is part of the Labor Government’s investment of $448 million in Aboriginal Affairs in the 2021/22 Victorian Budget.


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