A number of Indigenous-specific National Partnership Agreements have been agreed through COAG. They commit governments to a common framework of outcomes, progress measures and policy directions to guide Indigenous reform. The agreements build on current initiatives, address shortfalls and in many cases provide significant additional funds.
- National Partnership on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes
- National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing
- Closing the Gap: National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development
- National Partnership on Indigenous Economic Participation
- National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery
- Closing the Gap: National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access
- Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory National Partnership Agreement
The National Agreements for mainstream funding and service delivery also have a strong focus on better Indigenous outcomes.
Signed in December 2008, the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes commits $1.57 billion over four years from 1 July 2009 to tackle the burden of chronic disease in the Indigenous community. It is targeting risk factors, improving chronic disease management and follow-up, and expanding the capacity of the Indigenous health workforce.
Closing the Gap: Tackling Chronic Disease
Agreed in December 2008, the National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing commits $1.94 billion over 10 years to reform housing and infrastructure arrangements in remote Indigenous communities. The aim is to address overcrowding, homelessness, poor housing conditions and severe housing shortages in these communities.
The new funding is on top of $3.55 billion already committed through the Australian Remote Indigenous Accommodation Program. Total funding of $5.5 billion over 10 years will provide:
- up to 4200 new houses in remote Indigenous communities
- upgrades to around 4800 existing houses through a program of major repairs and/or replacement.
Funding is also available for a minor repairs and maintenance program, housing checks, improved tenancy management, improvements to town camps, and employment-related accommodation.
National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing
Signed in July 2009, the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development commits $564.6 million over six years to improve Indigenous early childhood development.
The agreement is funding 36 (originally 35) Children and Family Centres to provide early-learning, child-care and family-support services to Indigenous children and families. It is also providing increased access to antenatal care services, sexual and reproductive health services for Indigenous teenagers, and maternal and child health services for Indigenous children and their mothers.
Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership
Agreed in December 2008, the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation provides $228.8 million over five years to help create sustainable Indigenous employment opportunities.
The agreement covers:
- the conversion of positions in Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) to paid work in government service delivery
- public-sector recruitment
- public-sector procurement policies
- the development of Indigenous workforce strategies across other COAG reform areas.
Agreed in December 2008, the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery is providing $291.2 million over six years from 1 July 2009 to improve the delivery of services in 29 priority locations across the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
The strategy will progressively deliver to these communities the facilities and services enjoyed in other Australian towns of comparable size, location and need.
Signed in July 2009, the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access is providing:
- internet access facilities in remote Indigenous communities where there is limited or no public internet access
- maintenance and support of public internet access in those communities, commencing in 2011-12
- training in basic computer and internet use in up to 60 remote communities a year.
The Commonwealth is providing $7 million over four years from 2009–10 to support this agreement.
Indigenous Communications Program – Internet access and training
The Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory National Partnership Agreement was agreed between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory Government in July 2009.
Covering a three-year period from 2009–10, the agreement continues the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), begun by the former Australian Government in June 2007, but aims to ensure the benefits are sustainable and driven by community aspirations.
The Australian Government is providing $807.4 million over the three years for areas such as remote policing and substance abuse; community law and justice; community safety; supporting families; enhancing education; language, literacy and numeracy; improving child and family health; welfare reform and employment; and governance and leadership.
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.
Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory