Stephen Jones, Member for Whitlam, and Sharon Bird, Member for Cunningham have echoed the Hon. Bill Shorten in his 2017 Closing the Gap response in Parliament today.


Bill Shorten called for the introduction of a justice target to be included in the Close the Gap report and a new priority on stronger families, including a target for reducing the number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.


“Only one of the seven Closing the Gap targets is on track to be met, which we believe is a direct result of the failings of the Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy,” said Mr Jones.


“There are over $500 million in Abbott-era Indigenous funding cuts hanging over the head of this report card. We need to do better.”


Ms Bird said the report was a sobering reminder that both sides of Parliament need to put the politics aside to genuinely address the inequality and disadvantage experienced by Indigenous Australians.


“Labor introduced the Closing the Gap report in 2009 to keep all governments’ accountable and ensure a bi-partisan approach to tackling the crippling inequality Indigenous Australians face.”


“As the Leader of the Opposition has made clear, we must work with Indigenous Australians, draw on their insight and wisdom and forge a new relationship for our shared future.”