Closing the Gap
National Agreement on Closing the Gap
The National Agreement on Closing the Gap (the National Agreement) was developed in genuine partnership between Australian Governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations (represented by the Coalition of Peaks).
The National Agreement sets out ambitious targets and new Priority Reforms that will change the way governments work to improve life outcomes experienced by Indigenous Australians.
The Government has committed to work in partnership with Indigenous Australians, recognising that the only way to close the gap is when Indigenous Australians own, commit to and drive the outcomes sought, alongside all governments.
The National Agreement pushes all parties to deliver on ambitious outcomes and a new way of working in partnership.
Read more about the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap.
Implementing the National Agreement
The National Agreement commits all parties to action. Its success depends on all parties committing the right resources and efforts to deliver on these actions in practice.
All Parties to the National Agreement have developed an Implementation Plan and will report annually on their progress on the actions in their plans.
Implementation Plans set out how policies and programs are aligned to the National Agreement and what actions will be taken to achieve the Priority Reforms. They also include information on funding and timeframes for actions.
Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan
On 13 February 2023, the Albanese Government released its first Closing the Gap Implementation Plan (2023 Implementation Plan), led by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Linda Burney MP. The Implementation Plan responds to the Commonwealth Closing the Gap Annual Report 2022, released on 30 November 2022, and outlines the Commonwealth’s strategic priorities and efforts to close the gap over the next 12 to 18 months.
The 2023 Implementation Plan builds upon the first Implementation Plan, released in 2021. It is a whole-of-government plan, developed with First Nations partners including the Coalition of Peaks, that outlines specific, tangible actions that will be undertaken across the Commonwealth to progress Closing the Gap outcomes and improve the lives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The 2023 Implementation Plan contains new priority actions across each of the Priority Reforms, socio-economic outcomes and cross-cutting outcome areas (disability, gender and sexuality, ageing populations and remote Australia). The 2023 Implementation Plan is complemented by an interactive Commonwealth Closing the Gap Actions Table, which outlines all new and existing measures being undertaken by the Commonwealth to support Closing the Gap efforts. The Actions Table can be accessed at Commonwealth Closing the Gap Actions Table.
The Commonwealth’s first Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, released on 5 August 2021, can be accessed at Closing the Gap Implementation Plan 2022.
Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan.
All parties to the National Agreement have developed their own Implementation Plans. The plans should be read together to get a full picture of the national effort to close the gap.
All plans will be linked on the Closing the Gap website.
Accountability and monitoring
The National Agreement provides for more shared accountability and ability to demonstrate progress than before.
For the first time, the Commonwealth, states and territories, local government and the Coalition of Peaks are jointly accountable for the outcomes and targets under the National Agreement.
The parties share accountability for ensuring the outcomes of Closing the Gap are achieved through implementation.
On 30 November 2022 the Commonwealth released the Commonwealth Closing the Gap Annual Report 2022. It is the first Annual Report since the commencement of the National Agreement and the release of the first Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan.
Commonwealth Closing the Gap Annual Report.
The Productivity Commission publishes a dashboard comprising data and associated supporting materials on progress towards the targets. The dashboard will be updated on a regular basis (at a minimum, annually) and will be maintained for the full term of the National Agreement.
The Productivity Commission will also undertake a three-yearly independent report on progress against the National Agreement. This will be followed by an Indigenous-led review of progress every three years.
The Joint Council on Closing the Gap will have an ongoing role in monitoring progress by all parties in delivering on the commitments in the National Agreement.
Read more about accountability and monitoring.