Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, welcomed the release today of the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report, saying it reinforced the Abbott Government’s priorities in Indigenous Affairs.
“This Government has established three clear priorities in Indigenous Affairs; getting children to school, adults into work and ensuring communities are safe,” the Minister said.
“The OID report considered progress until 2013 and highlights that school attendance for Indigenous students was well below that of non-Indigenous Australians.
“There can be no hope for future generations if school attendance for our First Australians does not improve.
“It’s critical that children are in school and receiving a quality education. It is encouraging though to see Year 12 retention rates improving.
“In employment the fact that Indigenous employment fell to 48 per cent in 2012-13 after significant gains between 1994 and 2008, when it rose from 38 per cent to 54 per cent, reinforces the appropriate focus of the Abbott Government in this area.
“And while the report suggests no significant change in family and community violence between 2002 and 2008, it is clear that the levels of violence are far too high.”
The Minister said the three priorities of this Government were important because of the impact they could have across the spectrum of indicators.
“There’s no doubt that in communities where children are going to school and adults are going to work, levels of violence, imprisonment and juvenile detention, mental health and the whole range of indicators is improved,” the Minister said.
“Engagement in education and/or training and work bring norms to communities that most Australians expect as an everyday standard.
“A new approach was clearly needed. The Government’s new Indigenous Advancement Strategy began on 1 July 2014 and replaced more than 150 individual programmes and activities with five flexible, broad-based programmes.
“The new approach means we can work with communities to put in place activities that address local issues and the Government’s priorities.
“This report reaffirms my commitment to ensuring that we focus our effort on these critical priorities to ensure a brighter future for future generations of First Australians.”
Download media release:
2014-11-19 OID Report.pdf