26 September 2023

PC to review Closing the Gap progress

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The Productivity Commission has announced it is to conduct its first three-yearly review of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Announced by the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, the Productivity Commission is to report on the progress towards Closing the Gap, highlight areas where improvements have been made and identify where additional efforts were needed.

“The Commission will undertake extensive engagement with Indigenous Australians to ensure they have a genuine say in the design and delivery of this review as well as those in the future,” Mr Wyatt said.

He said the Agreement has four priority reform outcomes and 17 socioeconomic targets, the priority reform outcomes including:

* Strengthening and establishing formal partnerships and shared decision-making;

* Building the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector;

* Transforming Government organisations so they work better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and

* Improving and sharing access to data and information to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to make informed decisions.

Mr Wyatt said the review is to analyse progress on Closing the Gap against the four priority reform outcomes, it is also to analyse progress against all the socioeconomic outcome areas in the Agreement and examine the factors affecting progress.

“In undertaking the review, the Productivity Commission should have regard to all aspects of the Agreement, consider all parties’ implementation and annual reports, and draw on evaluations and other relevant evidence,” Mr Wyatt said.

He said the Commission had been asked to release a draft report and then a final report by the end of 2023.

The Terms of Reference for the first three-yearly review of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap can be accessed at this PS News link.

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