Closing the Gap?
On 10 February, Prime Minister Turnbull released the 2016 Closing the Gap report. He spoke of being ‘heartened’ at the ‘positive gains’ this year, while acknowledging that there had been ‘mixed results’.The ‘positive gains’ seemed a bit like cherry-picking from last year’s tree. It is good that the Indigenous infant mortality rate is declining, although this was also evident in 2015. While Indigenous mortality rates generally are also declining, the figure is difficult to interpret as ‘closing the gap’, since there are no new figures on life expectancy. The PM pointed to ‘almost no employment gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous university graduates. Again, this obscures the main issue, which is that there is no ‘closing the gap’ in employment rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.