Support is available for those affected by the NSW floods. Resources and information can be found at the NSW Flood Assistance and Resources page.

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Statement from the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty on National Close the Gap Day

The NSW Government is today acknowledging National Close the Gap Day and the significant work required to make real progress.

National Close the Gap Day started as a way of drawing attention to health inequalities across the nation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Past injustices and policy failures from government have contributed to the gap, and we have a responsibility to address these inequities.

In February, the NSW government signed the first ever Closing the Gap NSW Partnership Agreement with NSW CAPO and Local Government to help improve Aboriginal health, education and social outcomes.

We are working through the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, and the partnership architecture to realise a genuine approach to drive change in health, education, family support, justice, housing, land and waters, languages and digital inclusion to enhance the strength and resilience of Aboriginal people and communities across NSW. 

Fulfilling our commitments under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap is a priority for the NSW Government. Across government, we meet every quarter with NSW CAPO to track how we are delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal communities in NSW.

At the heart of this is the need for governments to partner and share decisions with Aboriginal people, communities and organisations to develop solutions, recognising that Aboriginal communities and organisations know what works best for them.  

As we have seen with the announcement of Closing the Gap progress data and the Productivity Commission Review in recent weeks, while NSW has made positive progress to Close the Gap in some areas, there is still much work to do.

We are on track to meet our targets for Aboriginal employment, Aboriginal children in early education and reducing overcrowding in houses. However, Aboriginal people are still overrepresented in the justice system, and we will continue to implement early intervention and justice reinvestment to reduce interactions with the justice system.

Too many Aboriginal children are also in out-of-home care and too few Aboriginal young people are completing Year 12.

We need to do so much better.

NSW has committed $221 million over 4 years to support Closing the Gap initiatives. These initiatives were designed and are being delivered in partnership with NSW CAPO and Aboriginal communities, underscoring the NSW Government’s commitment to working in genuine partnership to Close the Gap.

Delivering greater economic prosperity for Aboriginal people and communities is fundamental to supporting better life outcomes across the board.

NSW is the only state with a fifth Closing the Gap priority reform, which is Employment, Business Growth, and Economic Prosperity.

The gap that we seek to close has been created by successive governments over many decades, and the solutions and change will take time.

We are fully committed to implementing meaningful and holistic changes to deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities in this state.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty, David Harris

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