Australia given blended rating on indigenous 'hole'

Australia given blended rating on indigenous 'hole'

It's exactly 10 years since indigenous men and women stolen from their families finally got the official apology they wanted in parliament.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says the economy is key to closing the gap, and is expected to announce a range of new measures to "turbo-charge" the Indigenous business sector when he delivers the Closing the Gap report in parliament on Monday.

All states except the Northern Territory are on track to achieve the early childhood targets and only South Australia, Western Australia, the NT and the ACT met the numbers for year 12 attainment.

"The targets we set 10 years ago for Closing the Gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in health, education, employment, housing and longevity should be enhanced, not weakened", he told the National Press Club on Monday.

The government is also struggling to improve literacy among indigenous students, a key driver behind its failure to boost employment.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, who comprise about 3% of Australia's population, continue to experience high levels of disadvantage.

Kevin Rudd made a historic apology to the Stolen Generations in February 2008.

"Three of the seven targets are on track this year, giving us the most promising result since 2011", he told parliament. "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 targets", he said. "I ask the Prime Minister and the Government - we will work with you, but we will not wait for you".

"They are still waiting for saying sorry to be matched by making-good", the statement will read.

Bill Shorten will pledge compensation for those who have slipped through the cracks since the National Apology. Rudd led two center-left Labor Party administrations, mostly recently in 2013.

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.

"It was not just an expression of sorrow or regret - but a declaration of intent, a promise for action".

He said while these schemes are not ideal, first Australians in the Northern Territory and the Koori people of the ACT and Jervis Bay - which are the responsibility of the Commonwealth - have not received any financial compensation whatsoever.

Survivors would be offered payments of $75,000 to resolve "unfinished business", including $7,000 for a one-off payment for funeral costs.

He also welcomed suggestions the Turnbull government may be open to the idea of including targets on incarceration rates and child protection.



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