Chris Ison

Gap closing on vow to fight indigenous disadvantage

EFFORTS to Close the Gap on indigenous disadvantage have fallen behind in several key areas, a new report has found.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull released the latest Closing the Gap report on Wednesday, pledging to improve the lives of Australia's First Peoples.

But the report itself showed major progress on just one measure, reducing infant mortality rates. However, progress on targets to improve employment, overall life expectancy, reading and numeracy has flat-lined.

The report noted progress on indigenous students completing Year 12 but the $120 million truancy program has largely not improved school attendance rates.

Indigenous leader and co-chair of the Closing the Gap committee Jackie Huggins said indigenous voices needed to be heard in the debate about their future.

She said indigenous people were sick of going to people's funerals and would be holding Mr Turnbull to his pledge.


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