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.
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 the communique from the second roundtable of senior Ministers and the Coalition of Peaks hosted by the Prime Minister on Friday 25 June 2021.
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 5 August 2021 the Commonwealth released its first Closing the Gap Implementation Plan. Its development was led by the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP.
The Implementation Plan sets a foundation for the Commonwealth’s efforts to achieve the targets in the National Agreement over the coming decade. It provides an overview of the Commonwealth’s existing actions that contribute to Closing the Gap, as well as new investment and areas of future work.
It is a whole-of-government plan, developed across the Commonwealth in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners, in particular the Coalition of Peaks.
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 Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan.
The Productivity Commission has published 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.