Digital Inclusion is key to Close the Gap

February 20, 2024 8:48 am in by
Credit: Grant Faint via Getty Images.

Digital Inclusion is key to solving the eight remaining targets to close the gap, that’s according to a recent RMIT-led study.

The Prime Minister is adamant the Federal Government is determined to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The report was released on the 16th anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s Sorry Speech – where he apologised to the stolen generation.

The government has announced hundreds of millions of dollars for job programs, communications and justice issues in Indigenous communities, in a major response to the latest damning statistics from the annual Closing The Gap report card.

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The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, says those statistics “should give us pause.”

“Australia has overcome much, but the gaps persist, including the life expectancy gap that gapes between us like a chasm. That is inexcusable,” he told parliament.

The federal government is still failing to close the gap in Indigenous life outcomes, with only four of 19 key areas on track for improvement and four others actually getting worse in the past year.

“We cannot ask for infinite patience. We all agree that the status quo is unacceptable,” the PM said.

The report notes that the only areas that are improving and on track to meet targets are: engaging children in early education, economic participation, and youth detention statistics.

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Indicators around life expectancy, children’s health, education, youth employment, housing, and Indigenous people maintaining cultural and economic relationships with land are improving but still not on track to reach goals.

Albanese said some targets which were not on track “have shown improvement in some regions and jurisdictions”, calling it a “slender” positive.

Project lead and Professor Julian Thomas says digital inclusion is key ios meeting the remaining targets.

The report was also submitted to the senate inquiry into regional bank branch closures.