Canberra, Feb 13 (IANS) The Australian government has announced a new national plan to address indigenous disadvantage, describing previous attempts as an “enormous failure”.
Linda Burney, Minister for Indigenous Australians, on Monday released the new plan to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people across areas, including access to clean drinking water, housing, food and education.
The new plan comes with additional funding and was revealed on the 15th anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s historic national apology to the Stolen Generations, Xinhua news agency reported.
The landmark 2008 speech acknowledged that successive governments had failed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and committed to improvement.
However, Burney on Monday conceded the promise had not been honoured.
“I think governments have tried but there is enormous failure in meeting all the closing the gap targets,” Burney said.
“More needs to be done to close the gap.”
Established later in 2008, the Closing the Gap framework aims to reduce socio-economic disadvantages faced by indigenous people.
The latest update, which was presented to Parliament by Burney in November, found only four of the 18 socio-economic targets are on track.
The new implementation plan focuses on practicable ways to improve quality of life and includes funding over four years to provide safe water to remote communities and to make nutritious food more accessible.
“Our measures are going to be more specific and more targeted, making real impact that complement work under way in states and territories, and back-in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations to lead work in their communities,” Burney said.