Australia still struggling to improve Aboriginal lives, report says


This year it is expected that two more targets will be marked as on track - the goal to halve the gap in Indigenous child mortality rates and to improve early childhood education attendance.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday revealed four of the seven Closing the Gap targets were not on track, but he also announced a successful program to help indigenous businesses win government contracts will be extended.

"A major reason, although by no means the only one, we're languishing in meeting a number of targets is the uncertainty in government's financial effort over recent years", Rudd said.

Which targets are on track?

Mr Turnbull says he is increasingly convinced closing the gap is an impossible goal without equal participation in the economy.

The report, however, found that Australia was making some progress in improving health and education among its indigenous population.

"A couple of simple things have turned it around", he told the ABC. "One is our failure past year, and the other is the work being done on the ground by organisations", he said.

Wyatt has rejected suggestions the original targets were too ambitious.

A decade ago, Australia embarked on an ambitious roadmap to uplift its indigenous people, who have trailed the rest of the population in nearly every social and economic indicator.

"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 target".

"As part of the Closing the Gap refresh, state-by-state targets will give us more granular and specific local insight", he said.

The Prime Minister has handed down the 10th annual "Closing the Gap" report in Federal Parliament.

It's been ten years since promises were made to end Indigenous disadvantage, but change has been slow.

The Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) announced on Monday that if it is elected to government it would introduce a national compensation scheme which would make Stolen Generation survivors in the Northern Territory (NT) eligible for up to 58,000 US dollars in compensation.

He said a Labor Government would hold a national summit on the welfare of Indigenous children within its first 100 days in office.

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.