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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . .

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DR BOURKE: As the Minister for Children and Young People, I thank the Assembly for the opportunity to table the response to recommendation 69 from the Select Committee on Estimates 2015-2016 on the inquiry into Appropriation Bill 2015-2016. This response provides an overview to the Assembly on the 2015 ACT Australian early development census results as well as detailed findings of the ACT regions.

These results support our understanding of unmet need for early intervention and prevention services through the identification of developmental vulnerabilities of children in relation to the early years of development. The AEDC results provide evidence to support health, education and community policy and planning. We will ensure that the 2015 results and the trend data from all three cycles is disseminated and translated to the community to support evidence-informed planning. Madam Assistant Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to table this paper.

Closing the gap report 2015

Paper and statement by minister

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability, Minister for Small Business and the Arts and Minister for Veterans and Seniors): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

ACT Closing the Gap Report 2015.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

DR BOURKE: Today I rise to present the 2015 ACT closing the gap report, the third for the ACT. This report brings together programs, initiatives and key performance data on the ACT's progress in improving life outcomes for the members of our city's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Though there is still much work to be done to improve outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of the ACT, in the pages of this report we will also find much to be proud of and celebrate, for example, the record growth in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in the ACT public service; invaluable and ancient Aboriginal heritage sites that have been identified and conserved; or the community bus, which not only helps those most in need to reach essential services but also is driven by volunteers to bring together elders and youth at social, cultural and sporting events.

As in previous ACT closing the gap reports, this report highlights the ACT's performance against the national Indigenous reform agenda closing the gap targets, performance measures and progress trajectories agreed by all jurisdictions through the Council of Australian Governments. Closing the gap performance data tracks progress towards better outcomes and also shows if the gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians are reducing.


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