Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Senator Nigel Scullion says Labor Minister Kate Ellis got it wrong on ABC’s Q & A when she said the Coalition hadn’t committed to the Closing the Gap targets.
“The Coalition are strong supporters of the Closing the Gap targets and Kate Ellis’ comments are completely untrue,” Senator Scullion said.
“Both Tony Abbott and I have publicly supported the Closing the Gap targets many times before. In his Closing the Gap statement to Parliament in February, Mr Abbott called for school and work attendance figures to be published regularly to check progress.
“Under a Coalition Government, our Close the Gap report will also break down data geographically to help better target our efforts.
“I have no idea where Kate Ellis dreamt up her comments from but my guess is she was trying to distract from Labor’s poor record on meeting the Closing the Gap targets.
“Indigenous Affairs is generally a bi-partisan area but Labor’s arguable progress in only three of the six closing the gap targets is not much of a scorecard.
“For example the closing the gap indicators for indigenous education are going backwards – in 2012, 14 out of the 20 NAPLAN indicators the gap has widened compared to 2011.
“The Coalition will focus on results on the ground while Labor focuses on the money spent, bureaucratic structures and plans and performance measured against inputs rather than outputs,” Senator Scullion said.
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Ellis closing the gap comments release.pdf