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Greens pen letter to PM on Close the Gap and the need to address unfinished business



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Media Release

Senator Rachel Siewert - Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues

9 February 2016

Greens pen letter to PM on Close the Gap and the need to address unfinished business

On the eve of the Closing the Gap report, Senator Siewert has written to the Prime Minister outlining concerns that Australia will struggle to Close the Gap whilst the issues of unfinished business such as Constitutional Recognition, Sovereignty, Treaties, and self-determination go unaddressed.

*^/**Z***¿****¡*Ã¥*]*ö*ö***v****v**}*â***v**o***ö*ö***Ã¥**ö*}*D***o***}*o*u*d*µ*Ã¥*v***µ*o*o******o*o*]*v*P**}*v**]*v***Ã¥*****ê********(*(*}*Ã¥*ö*ê**ö*}***o*}*ê****ö*Z***'***â**¡*Z*]*o*ê*ö* highlighting that it is difficult to reduce disadvantage while Australia has unfinished business.

*^K*v*t*****v***ê*****«*U*D***o***}*o*u*d*µ*Ã¥*v***µ*o*o**¡*]*o*o*******ö*****o*]*v*P**Z*]*ê**(*]*Ã¥*ê*ö***o*}*ê*]*v*P**ö*Z***'***â**Ã¥***â*}*Ã¥*ö**]*v*W***Ã¥*o*]***u***v*ö*X* Unfortunately, I do not have high hopes for the progress on Closing the Gap following the chaotic rollout of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and half a billion dollars ripped from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services in the 2014-15 budget.

*^d*Z****â*µ*ê*Z**(*}*Ã¥***}*v*ê*ö*]*ö*µ*ö*]*}*v*Z*****}*P*v*]*ö*]*}*v**Z***ê********v**ê*****v****ê*****ê*ö***â**]*v*** ddressing our unfinished business *t but as Government has dragged its feet on this matter *t debate in many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and more broadly has moved forward.

*^D*}*Ã¥******v****u*}*Ã¥****â***}*â*o******Ã¥****ö***o*l*]*v*P**ö*}**u********}*µ*ö**ö*Z****v********ö*}**Z** ve a broader conversation and are talking about issues of sovereignty, treaties and agreement making and self-determination.

*^t****ê*µ*â*â*}*Ã¥*ö**ö*Ã¥*****ö*]***ê**¡*Z*]***Z**Ã¥*****}*P*v*]*ê****â*Ã¥*]*}*Ã¥**}*****µ*â***ö*]*}*v*U****v****ö*Z****ê*}*¿***Ã¥***]*P*v*ö*«**}*(*****}*Ã¥*]*P*]*v***o****v***d*}*Ã¥*Ã¥***ê* Strait Islander peoples. I have asked Prime Minister Turnbull to consider these issues and how they interact.

*^t*]*ö*Z*}*µ*ö*W*Ã¥*]*u***D*]*v*]*ê*ö***Ã¥*]***o**o*********Ã¥*ê*Z*]*â*U**ö*Z***Ã¥****]*ê*****¿***Ã¥*«**Ã¥*****o**Ã¥*]*ê*l**ö*Z***ö***o*}*ê*]*v*P**ö*Z***'***â**¡*]*o*o**v*}*ö***********Z*]***¿***** ***v************ö****¡*}*v*[*ö******¿***v******t that debate will become a reminder of unfulfilled potential, rather than a way of bringing Australians together.

*^/**µ*Ã¥*P***W*Ã¥*]*u***D*]*v*]*ê*ö***Ã¥*d*µ*Ã¥*v***µ*o*o**ö*}****}*v*ê*]*****Ã¥**ö*Z****o***ö*ö***Ã¥****v****o*}*}*l**(*}*Ã¥*¡***Ã¥****ö*}**Z*]*ê**Ã¥***ê*â*}*v*ê***_*X*

*Full letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attached*

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