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What are the National partnership agreements and how do they fit in?

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The National partnership agreements are agreements between the Commonwealth of Australia and the states and territories. They ensure that all levels of government are committed to the same framework of outcomes, measure of progress, and policy directions. The National partnership agreements build on current initiatives, address shortfalls, and may provide additional funding.

The six agreements included in the Closing the gap policy are detailed below. These agreements are applicable from 2009.

Table of Contents

    Indigenous early childhood development [1]

    The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has committed $564.6 million over six years to improve Indigenous early childhood development.

    Through this agreement, the parties are committed to the following objectives:

    This agreement seeks to contribute to the following overarching outcomes:

    Three key elements are at the core of the desired outputs:

    To achieve the objectives of this agreement, each party has specific responsibilities:

    The states, the territories and the Commonwealth will:

    The performance indicators are:

    Remote service delivery [2]

    A total of $291.2 million over six years has been allocated to support improvements across 26 remote locations across the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. Coordination and delivery of services in these remote locations will be improved at all levels of government. There will be a focus on reforms to service delivery in early childhood, schooling, housing and health. Importantly, engagement with local communities will include attention to governance and leadership within Indigenous organisations. Through this agreement, COAG seeks to contribute to the following objectives:

    In addressing these objectives the Commonwealth will be responsible for:

    The states and the Northern Territory will be responsible for:

    The Commonwealth and the states and the Northern Territory will share the responsibility for:

    Performance indicators will vary between jurisdictions and will be detailed inspecific implementation plans.

    Indigenous economic participation [3]

    COAG has committed $228.8 million over five years to improve opportunities for Indigenous people to engage in private and public sector jobs. This agreement comprises four elements to significantly contribute to halving the employment gap between Indigenous and other Australians:

    In terms of roles and responsibilities, both the Commonwealth and the states and territories will be responsible for the creation of service delivery jobs by 1 July 2009. They will be jointly responsible for:

    To achieve the performance benchmark of halving the employment gap, this National partnership agreement is expected to assist up to 13,000 Indigenous people into employment over a five-year period. Specific performance indicators and administrative data are used for each of the four elements. The individual states and territories will contribute in varied proportions.

    Remote Indigenous housing [4]

    COAG has committed $1.94 billion over ten years for housing reform and infrastructure arrangements in remote Indigenous communities. This is expected to:

    These three objectives should contribute to the improvement of amenity and reduction of overcrowding, particularly in remote and discrete communities.

    To achieve these objectives, the agreement stipulates:

    The Commonwealth is responsible for:

    The states and the Northern Territory are responsible for:

    Commonwealth, states and the Northern Territory are sharing the responsibility for:

    Indigenous health outcomes [5]

    COAG has committed $1.57 billion over four years to contribute to 'closing the gap' in health outcomes. This NPA expired on 30 June 2013. It aimed to achieve the following five key objectives:

    The objectives of the agreement are expected to be achieved by tackling tobacco use, ensuring healthy transition to adulthood, making Indigenous health everyone's business, making a primary health care service more effective, and fixing the gaps in continuity of care and improving the patient journey. The implementation of these objectives is predominantly the responsibility of the states and territories apart from some discrete intervention that will be under the umbrella of COAG. Performance indicators are various and specific to each objective, these are for:

    Remote Indigenous public internet access [6]

    COAG has committed $6.967 million over four years to expand and maintain public access to the internet. This NPA seeks to:

    The desired outcome for internet access is to be a lever to increase educational, health, economic and social capital, doing so through both enhanced computer literacy and greater public information use. It also seeks to facilitate communication with government agencies, businesses, communities and families. Installation of internet facilities will be coupled with the appropriate filtering facilities for illegal and offensive materials. Importantly, maintenance of the internet facilities will be provided, as well as training sessions tailored to the individual community needs.

    In delivering public internet access, priority will be given to remote communities of 100 people or more that have no public internet access.
    To achieve these objectives each party has specific roles. The Commonwealth will:

    The states and the Northern Territory will:

    The Commonwealth, states and the Northern Territory will:

    The performance indicators are threefold:

    Northern Territory [7]

    The Australian Government has committed $807.4 million over the three years areas to fund a variety of programs, including:

    This National partnership agreement was agreed between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory Government in July 2009. It will continue the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), which originated with the Australian Government in June 2007, but aims to ensure the benefits are sustainable and driven by community aspirations. The agreement maintains and strengthens core NTER measures while placing a greater emphasis on community engagement and partnerships, and building capability and leadership within Indigenous communities.

    Through this agreement, the parties are committed to the following objectives:

    This agreement seeks to contribute to the following overarching outcomes:

    The objectives and outcomes of this agreement will be achieved by:

    To achieve the objectives of this agreement, each party has specific responsibilities. The Commonwealth will be responsible for:

    The Northern Territory Government will be responsible for:

    The states, the territories and the Commonwealth will:

    References

    1. Closing the gap: national partnership agreement on Indigenous early childhood development (2009) Council of Australian Governments
    2. National partnership agreement on remote service delivery (2009) Council of Australian Governments
    3. National partnership agreement on Indigenous economic participation (2009) Council of Australian Governments
    4. National partnership agreement on remote Indigenous housing - [variation] (2010) Council of Australian Governments
    5. National partnership agreement on closing the gap in Indigenous health outcomes: implementation plan. Jurisdiction: Commonwealth (2009) Commonwealth of Australia
    6. Closing the Gap: National partnership agreement on remote Indigenous public internet access (2009) Council of Australian Governments
    7. Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory: National Partnership Agreement (2009) Council of Australian Governments
     
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