Indigenous leaders in Closing the Gap deal

New Closing the Gap targets have been agreed to at a meeting of Indigenous leaders and ministers.
New Closing the Gap targets have been agreed to at a meeting of Indigenous leaders and ministers.

Indigenous leaders and governments have agreed on 16 new targets to improve the health, education and job prospects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The details of the targets won't be released until Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders sign off on them at a national cabinet meeting on July 10.

But they are understood to cover education, employment, health and wellbeing, justice, safety, housing, land and waters, and languages.

It is the first such agreement developed and negotiated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Coalition of Peak Indigenous Organisations lead convener Pat Turner is calling for more funding in order to achieve the goals.

She says it's important for funds to go directly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled organisations, to improve outcomes and to hire Indigenous Australians.

"We want to take control of our own lives and we want to make sure that we have the resources to do that," Ms Turner told the ABC.

Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt said he had noticed a "bounce" in the step of Indigenous leaders, who met on Friday as the Joint Council on Closing the Gap.

"The level of enthusiasm is something I've not heard from a ministerial forum."

The council will monitor progress over the next decade, pending the sign off from governments.

There has been debate within the community and the council on the lack of ambition in some of the Closing the Gap targets and low rates of achievement over many years.

Australian Associated Press