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Council of Australian Governments promise $4.6 billion for Indigenous issues

Posted on: 1 December, 2008
Issue: Vol 8 No 4, October 2008 - December 2008
Related to Physical environment Health Remote Rural Urban Social issues Employment

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) announced a commitment of $4.6 billion for Indigenous issues at its meeting in Canberra on 29 November 2008.  The Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association, along with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Treasurers, agreed to fund initiatives for Indigenous Australians across the areas of early childhood development, health, housing, economic development and remote service delivery.

The funding will address the following areas:

  • remote Indigenous housing – an additional funding of $1.94 billion over 10 years by the Commonwealth will address overcrowding, homelessness, poor housing conditions and the severe housing shortage in remote Indigenous communities;
  • Indigenous economic participation – the Commonwealth and the states will invest $229 million to assist up to 13,000 Indigenous Australians gain employment;
  • remote service delivery –  $291 million over six years will be spent by the Commonwealth and states to improve access to services by Indigenous Australians in remote areas; and
  • primary health care – $1.6 billion over four years will be used to expand primary health care and targeted prevention activities, to reduce the burden of chronic disease.

COAG has previously agreed to six ambitious targets for closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians across urban, rural and remote areas, and the additional funding will go a long way towards reaching these targets.

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