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This report summarises evidence on progress towards the seven Closing the Gap targets agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), along with an analysis of the underlying key drivers of change—see Box 1.1. The COAG targets are set out in the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) between the Australian Government and the state and territory governments (COAG 2012).

COAG has agreed to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to refresh the Closing the Gap agenda (PM&C 2017b). This report provides key insights to inform policy debate and discussion on refreshed target setting.

Since finalising the analyses in this report, new data for 6 of the 7 targets have become available. These newly available data, reported in the Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2018 (PM&C 2018), affected the assessment of progress towards two of the targets. Based on the new data, progress towards the child mortality and early childhood education targets are now on track. Updated assessments of progress based on these new data have been noted in the relevant sections of this report, however the report has otherwise not been updated.

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