Scott Morrison today became the fifth prime minister to deliver a Closing the Gap report to parliament – the 11th since the strategy began in 2008. Closing the Gap has aimed to reduce disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with particular respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes.
Almost every time a prime minister delivers the report, he or she states the need to move on from a deficits approach. Which is exactly what Morrison did this time. But he also did something different. Four of the seven targets set in 2008 were due to expire in 2018. So last year, the government developed the Closing the Gap Refresh – where targets would be updated in partnership with Indigenous people.