26 September 2023

Babies booming as Closing Gap closes

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Queensland’s 2022 Closing the Gap Annual Report and Snapshot has been produced by the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships.

The report indicates that Queensland is closing the gap for First Nations peoples with positive trends in healthy baby birthweights, early childhood education, and a reduction in the rate of young people in detention.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Craig Crawford said Queensland was also on track to ensure Indigenous people maintained a cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationship with their land and waters.

“The Closing the Gap Annual Report highlights positive changes with four targets on‑track,’’ Mr Crawford said.

“It is pleasing to see positive change as nine-in-10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies are born strong and healthy,” he said.

“Good birthweights should mean healthier kids going to school, and better health outcomes into their adult lives.”

He said the State was also on track with ensuring pre-school aged children were enrolled in important early childhood education and positive improvements had also been seen in youth justice over-representation results.

“There have also been good results with over 30 per cent (some 538,652 square kilometres) of Queensland’s landmass and 19 per cent (or 24,341 square kilometres) of Queensland’s seas now under native title,” the Minister said.

Mr Crawford said progress had been made but there was still much work to do to close the gap, particularly in rates of adult imprisonment and suicide.

He noted that Government Agencies were re-doubling their efforts to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to design new ways of delivering services.

More information about Queensland’s Closing the Gap report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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