The first decade of Closing the Gap: What went wrong?

Author/editor: M. C. Dillon
Publisher: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
Year published: 2021
Issue no.: 298


This paper assesses the major reviews and assessments of the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA), the COAG agreement that established the first iteration of Closing the Gap from 2008 to 2019. Since 2008, Closing the Gap has been the Australian Government’s central policy narrative in the Indigenous policy domain. The reviews examined are important because they sought to identify issues that needed to be taken into account in moving to the next iteration of the Closing the Gap strategy laid out in the 2020 National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The paper concludes that the reviews examined provide direct evidence that the Australian Government’s expressions of rhetorical support for Closing the Gap are contradicted by its actions from 2013 to dismantle the core components of the Closing the Gap strategy and reduce its funding commitments.

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