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Close The Gap plan could be "doomed to fail" says Dodson

Patrick Gorbunovs

A LACK of local indigenous involvement has dogged national targets to improve education and reduce poverty and poor health among Australia's first peoples.

Ahead of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull releasing the eighth Closing the Gap report, indigenous leaders have called for a new compact with the Federal Government.

Successive Closing the Gap reports have shown little progress on addressing indigenous disadvantage.

Indigenous leader Patrick Dodson told ABC on Tuesday there had been good intentions, but it was not going to work without "local buy-in".

He said without indigenous involvement, the national strategy was "doomed to fail".

The Federal Government's handling of indigenous issues has long been criticised for ignoring local concerns and constant changes without adequate monitoring of the effect of policies on communities.

Mr Dodson said "it probably is" time to scrap the Closing Gap policy, further urging Australia's political leaders to come to indigenous people with a proposal for a treaty.

The treaty proposal has gained ground among many Aboriginal people in light of failures to make progress on a push for constitutional recognition for indigenous Australians, which many see as a "symbolic gesture", rather than addressing problems on the ground.

Topics:  aboriginal close the gap indigenous inequality


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