Australia still struggling to improve Aboriginal lives, says report

Closing the gap

Goals to close the gap on school attendance unemployment rates and school literacy have never been met

"Too often we are quick to highlight the despondency which does nothing to help those who aspire to be like people that work hard and succeed all the time, all while being proud First Australians, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander Australians".

Two more targets - halving the gap in child mortality by 2018 and having 95 per cent of all indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025 - are both now on track.

In the eight years from 2008 to 2016, 101 billion US dollars was spent by the government in an attempt to achieve the seven key targets to little avail.

As well, three of the remaining four targets - to halve the gaps in employment, reading and numeracy, and in-school attendance for indigenous students - are due to expire in 2018.

The tenth annual "Closing the Gap" report said Australia was failing to meet its targets in four-out-of-seven measures.

The latest report shows less than half of the Closing the Gap targets are on track, a decade after it was launched to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

"A couple of simple things have turned it around".

"I know that there are people in the NT who have been enormously frustrated by the lack of action in this regard, and I am certain that there will be those that argue about the quantum, and all of those things; we welcome that discussion", Snowdon said.

"When they signed it [Closing the Gap strategy] it was a signalling of intent to achieve the highest possible benchmark even if it meant it was going to be challenging".

"Now it seems, for a range of domestic political factors concerning (former Labor senator Sam) Dastyari and others, (Mr Turnbull has) lurched considerably in the reverse direction", Mr Rudd told ABC radio on Monday. "But in all of them what you see is either some improvement, significant improvement, or a lot of improvement if not full realisation of the targets", he said.

An indigenous voice will be added to Parliament if Labor wins the next election but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is holding fire until he hears from Aboriginal Australians.

Australia is failing to meet more than half of its targets aimed at improving the lives of its indigenous people, including increasing life expectancy and improving literacy, a government report said on Monday.

Under the new plan, about 150 survivors of the Stolen Generation will receive an ex gratia payment of $75,000 as well as a one-off payment of $7000 to ensure the costs of a funeral are covered.

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