The Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory National Partnership Agreement ceased on the 30 June 2012. Under this Agreement FaHCSIA ha d responsibility for the compilation and publication of the six monthly Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory monitoring reports. This will be the last Monitoring Report published under this agreement.
The Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package commenced on 1 July 2012 and is the Australian Government’s new commitment, over 10 years, to work with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to build strong, independent lives, where communities, families and children are safe and healthy. Stronger Futures is a $3.4 billion investment over ten years by the Australian Government that is underpinned by a new National Partnership Agreement with the Northern Territory Government relating to services that the Northern Territory is responsible for delivering to remote communities, such as policing, schooling and child protection.
It has been agreed by the Australian and Northern Territory Governments that six monthly performance reports will continue and be strengthened as an essential part of the Stronger Futures package. The reports will continue to be publicly released by the Commonwealth Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs. These reports, the first of which will be due in mid-2013, will provide information on the performance of all programs and services funded in the Stronger Futures package delivered by the Australian or Northern Territory Governments.
This Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory Monitoring Report brings together performance information for each measure from 31 December 2011 to 1 July 2012. However, in many instances information is provided for the entire period 1 July 2007 to 1 July 2012 .
Much of the data in this Monitoring Report focuses on output measures such as increased police presence, number of night patrols, extra health workers etc. Where possible the report also includes related indicators such as the incidence of reported crime. However, interpretation of these data may be complicated by factors such as the underreporting of crime or by increased police numbers, which result in an increase in reported crime. These data alone makes it difficult to determine if the actual incidence of crime remains unchanged or may have fallen.
While policies designed to improve communities can have a significant immediate effect, this is the exception rather than the rule. It will take a concerted effort over many years to achieve significant lasting change.
This Monitoring Report has a slightly different structure to previous reports and also provides an overview of the Stronger Futures legislation and funded measures.
The Monitoring Report has two parts.
Part One of this report includes the following elements :
- Outcomes and the NTER;
- Stronger Futures in the NT;
- Background to the NTER Measures; and
- NTER Measures.
Part Two of the Monitoring Report brings together information against each measure and includes achievements and progress to date aga inst targets and/or milestones. It also includes what has not been achieved and ‘lessons learned’ or impacts.