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The Coalition of Peaks representatives attended the sixth meeting of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap today, the meeting focused on the parties Implementation Plans. These plans outline the tangible actions that are to be taken to advance the four Priority Reforms and achieve the socio-economic outcomes committed to under the National Agreement.

“It is pleasing to see the first Implementation Plans under the Agreement. The Coalition of Peaks will be analysing them closely over the coming weeks to understand how governments propose to meet their commitments, timelines, to identify leading examples of good practice and areas where improvements are warranted. The Plans are also an important accountability tool, and the onus is now on every party to turn their commitments into practice, so we meet the objectives of the National Agreement” said Ms Pat Turner, Lead Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks.

“Being only the first round, we all know there will be room for improvement in various areas, and we will continue to work with all jurisdictions to improve and deepen our partnership arrangements as we monitor, measure and expand our efforts to close the gap. All Parties are on a learning curve about how our new partnership can fully transform the way governments work to close the gaps that exist for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.”

“Opportunities must be taken to learn from those jurisdictions that are taking the most innovative steps in implementing the National Agreement. All parties have committed to regularly update and renew our Implementation Plans, and to strengthen them over time.”

The Joint Council has approved the details of the new Justice Policy Partnership, which will bring together all Australian governments with the Coalition of Peaks and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts to address over-representation in the justice system of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and young people. This is the first of five policy partnerships to be established by 2022 to re-shape how governments do business with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, reduce gaps and duplication, and improve outcomes under Closing the Gap.

“We have accelerated action on developing the Justice Partnership because of the urgency to jointly shape and take the actions needed to keep our adults out of jail and keeping our young ones away from detention,” said Ms Turner.

The Joint Council did not reach consensus on the two new anticipated targets, on Inland Waters and Community Infrastructure. The targets will be reconsidered at the November 2021 Joint Council meeting.

“It is disappointing that the new targets weren’t agreed, but it is critical that we get it right. We must continue to work together and share in decision making to agree the levels of commitment we are all accountable to.”

Once agreed, the targets will support progress on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations’ interests in water bodies inland from the coastal zone, as well as progress towards parity in infrastructure, essential services, and environmental health conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Download the sixth meeting of the Joint Council Communique.


Media contact: Tara Apps, Communications Manager – 0429 098 613 –


About the Joint Council

The Joint Council is made up of 12 representatives of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak organisations, elected by its members; a Minister chosen by each government, and a representative of the Australian Local Government Association nominated by its President. Its role is to support national leadership, coordination and cooperation on Closing the Gap and provide advice to First Ministers, the President of the Australian Local Government Association, and the Coalition of Peaks as signatories to the Partnership and National Agreements on Closing the Gap.

About the Coalition of Peaks
The Coalition of Peaks is a representative body of over fifty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled peak members. The Coalition of Peaks came together on their own as an act of self-determination to be formal partners with Australian governments on Closing the Gap.

Members are either national, state or territory wide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled peak bodies, including certain independent statutory authorities. Their governing boards are elected by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and / or organisations.

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