|Publisher||Council of Australian Governments|
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its 20th meeting in Melbourne on 20 December 2007. The key discussion points and outcomes from the meeting, relating to Indigenous issues, are described below.
COAG agreed the 17 year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians must be closed and confirmed a partnership between all levels of government to work with Indigenous communities to achieve the target of closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.
COAG also specifically addressed the importance of tackling the debilitating effect of substance and alcohol abuse on Indigenous Australians. The Commonwealth agreed to increase funding for substance and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment services, particularly in remote areas. The States and Territories, in turn, committed to complementary investments in services to support this initiative.
The establishment of the Working Group on Indigenous Reform was announced. COAG agreed to the terms of reference and the primary objectives of the group (broadly, to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage).
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