Minister for Indigenous Australians, HON Ken Wyatt AM, said the National Accord showed the government`s commitment to working in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. “The way all levels of government and representatives of Torres Strait Aborigines and Islanders come together to negotiate this national agreement and work together to determine how we are trying to fill this gap demonstrates our commitment to working together through meaningful partnerships,” said Minister Wyatt. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new agreement to fill the gap was a historic achievement. The National Agreement on Closing the Gap (National Agreement), published on July 30, 2020, is the first such partnership between the Australian governments (federal, national and local governments) and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Straiter Islander Peak Organisation (the Coalition of Peaks). The partnership is an alliance of more than 50 Aboriginal organizations and the municipality-controlled Torres Strait Islanders, who make up a multitude of life and health groups, including educational and cultural groups. This partnership is the culmination of several months of negotiations that have resulted in 16 socio-economic objectives and four priority reforms. The government is committed to working in partnership with the Australian Indians, while recognizing that the only way to fill this gap is for Aboriginal Australians, along with all governments, to hold, engage and advance the desired results. The priority objective of the national agreement is to enable and facilitate cooperation within the partnership to ensure the implementation of the best inequality elimination and reduction plan implemented by Aboriginal and Strait Torres Islands. It is important that the national agreement is the result of broad consultation. The expertise and experience of the Peak Coalition will be critical to the success of the national agreement.
The Coalition of Peaks will continue to hear the views and expertise of elders, traditional owners, native titleholders and others as the national agreement is implemented. The National Agreement was identified as a turning point in Aboriginal affairs and relations between Aboriginal peoples and governments. As the first Coalition of the Peaks convention, Pat Turner, announced on July 30, 2020, “The Aboriginal community and the Municipality of Torres Strait Strait Islander is at the centre of Closing the Gap.”