On the 15th anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation, the federal government has announced a $425 million plan to close the gap.
The government has acknowledged that there had been an “enormous failure” in closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, citing the 2022 closing the gap progress report which showed little progress had been made in Improving Aboriginal lives.
The Plan is set to address a wide array of disadvantages faced by Indigenous communities focusing on housing, food, education, and water infrastructure.
Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said that “more needs to be done to close the gap,” and highlighted that around $150 million will be used to address issues facing water infrastructure.
“I think it would be a shock to many people that there are many communities’ remote Aboriginal communities in Australia that do not have clean drinking water and cannot have dialysis because the water is not clean enough for the dialysis machines, despite the fact that renal failure is such an issue in our communities,” she said.
Further funding includes $112 million for a one-year partnership with the Northern Territory to speed up plans to build more remote housing and almost $12 million to make essential food more accessible.
A further $68.6 million will be spent on delivering legal and non-legal support to women and children experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence.
Assistant minister for Indigenous Australians, Malarndirri McCarthy said that the investment will be a “game changer” for Indigenous communities living in the bush.
“This comprehensive support will help build stronger families and communities today and ensure future generations can get the best start to life and achieve their full potential,” she said.