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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Closing the Gap

National Agreement on Closing the Gap

For the first time, the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (the National Agreement) has been developed in genuine partnership between Australian Governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations.

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 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.

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.

Implementation of the National Agreement

The National Agreement commits all parties to action. Its success depends on all parties commiting the right resources and efforts to deliver on these actions in practice.

All Parties to the National Agreement will develop an implementation plan within 12 months of signing and will report annually on their success in progressing the actions in their plans.

Implementation plans will set out how policies and programs are aligned to the National Agreement and what actions will be taken to achieve the Priority Reforms. They will also include information on funding and timeframes for actions.

The development of the Commonwealth’s Implementation Plan will be led by the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP.

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 Commonwealth is committed to partnering with and seeking the views and expertise of Indigenous Australians, including Elders, Traditional Owners and Native Title holders, leaders, communities and organisations to provide central guidance in developing our implementation actions. The Commonwealth will continue to work with existing decision making mechanisms and any new decision making processes that are agreed through the Indigenous voice co-design process.

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.

The Productivity Commission will 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.


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