"Governments have failed to properly share decision-making with Indigenous
people to accelerate Closing the Gap, despite formally undertaking to do so,
according to a scathing indictment by the Productivity Commission.
The commission says too many government agencies consult Indigenous people “on
a pre-determined solution, rather than collaborating on the problem and
co-designing a solution”.
The broad-ranging criticism is contained in the commission’s first review of
the 2020 “National Agreement on Closing the Gap”.
The Albanese government will use the findings to reinforce its pitch for the
Voice – which is that Indigenous people are not being properly heard on what
needs to be done to tackle the problems in health, housing, employment,
education and other areas of disadvantage.
The review says: “There appears to be an assumption that ‘governments know
best’, which is contrary to the principle of shared decision-making in the
The national agreement was put in place in negotiations with the Coalition of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations. Federal, state,
territory and local governments and the Coalition of Peaks share accountability
for the agreement’s implementation. Then-prime minister Scott Morrison lauded
it as a new collaborative way forward.
But Productivity Commission chair Michael Brennan says while the agreement
holds significant promise, “so far we are seeing too much business as usual and
too little transformation”."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics