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The Prime Minister tabled the fifth annual report on progress in Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage in Parliament on 6 February 2013.
The Closing the gap Prime Minister's report 2013 outlines the progress made towards meeting the nation's targets to close the gap in life expectancy, early childhood, health, education and employment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The report includes new data from the 2011 census and provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of progress against the targets.
The report states that the first of the target deadlines established five years ago, access to early childhood education to all four-year olds in remote communities by 2013, is on track (91% enrollment of Indigenous children in 2011, as recorded in the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection) and will be meet this year (95%). In her annual statement, Prime Minister Gillard said that, ‘One of the first things we need to do is ensure that improved access to early childhood education is accompanied by improved attendance rates at school.'
Encouraging progress is also being made on other Closing the gap targets:
‘Already we know that some targets, like life expectancy, will be enormously challenging to meet, even with almost two decades still to run. On others, progress has been encouragingly swift', the Prime Minister summarised.
Source: Australian Government