Closing the Gap

Labor established the first Closing the Gap framework in 2008. We will maintain and strengthen the current National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

When the Liberals came to power, one of their first acts was to cut nearly $1 billion from First Nations programs. Under the Liberals only three of 17 Closing the Gap targets were on track.

We are working in partnership on the investments required to deliver the change that is needed. And we're a Government that believes in self-determination as the path forward.

The Albanese Labor Government will work with the Coalition of Peaks and all levels of government to raise ambitions and ensure sustained progress on the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Labor is increasing the overall investment in Closing the Gap, starting with our commitments to improve housing and strengthen the First Nations health sector.


Uluru Statement from the Heart

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was a generous offer of a genuine partnership, and a real chance for us to create a reconciled Australia. It calls for Voice, Treaty and Truth. Labor is the only party to support it in full. 

While the result of the referendum was not what we had hoped for we remain committed to establishing a Makarrata Commission for Treaty and Truth-telling.

Indigenous Justice

Our Justice Reinvestment commitment will begin to turn the tide on incarceration and deaths in custody. Tragically, over 500 First Nations Australians have died in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody more than 30 years ago.  Up to 30 communities will be able to establish locally tailored justice reinvestment initiatives, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services will receive critical funding to represent families in coronial inquests.  

Strengthening Communities

Labor will scrap the Community Development Program. The CDP is punitive and it has failed. It has caused real harm to communities across the North. Labor will replace it with a new program with real jobs, proper wages and decent conditions – developed in partnership with First Nations People. 

Labor recognises that improving the condition and safety of housing in remote communities is essential for people and communities to thrive. We are funding housing improvements, maintenance and repairs in remote indigenous communities.

The government is abolishing the discriminatory Cashless Debit Card. Instead we are supporting First Nations communities to make their own decisions about the way forward.

Land Management

Labor will invest in First Nations’ conservation of our land and waters by doubling the Indigenous Rangers program, boosting funding for Indigenous Protected Areas by $10 million a year, and delivering the promised cultural water in the Murray Darling Basin. 

Jobs and Employment

We will strengthen economic and job opportunities for First Nations people and communities through a new public sector employment target and public reporting in Australia’s 200 largest companies.  

Intellectual Property

We will strengthen protection of First Nations intellectual property, combatting the unconscionable market in fake art and reaffirming the importance of Indigenous rights in future international trade agreements. 

Foreign Affairs

Labor is placing the experience of First Nations at the heart of our diplomacy by implementing a First Nations Foreign Policy that incorporates First Nations identities, perspectives and practices into Australia’s overseas engagement. We will establish an Office of First Nations Engagement headed by an Ambassador for First Nations Peoples within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to lead systematic engagement with First Nations communities and leaders and embed First Nations perspectives in Australia’s international diplomacy.