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Refreshed Closing the Gap agreement looms

New Closing the Gap targets to improve Indigenous outcomes are close to being finalised.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says federal cabinet has signed off on the targets and the paperwork is awaiting the signatures of his state and territory counterparts.

“I would hope that they would be able to progress that as soon as possible,” he told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

The new agreement is the first such deal to be developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The 16 new targets were agreed to earlier this month at a meeting with Indigenous leaders and governments.

They cover education, employment, health and wellbeing, justice, safety, housing, land and waters, and languages.

Coalition of Peak Indigenous Organisations lead convener Pat Turner has previously called for more funding in order to achieve the goals.

The latest Closing the Gap report card showed only two of the seven targets were on track: early childhood education enrolments and Year 12 attainment.

There has been poor progress on the targets over many years.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Northern Territory Council of Social Service have told a parliamentary inquiry the cost of living is rising for those who can’t afford it.

The inquiry is looking into food pricing and food security in remote Indigenous communities, and was told food prices are significantly higher in the NT.

Asked about disparities in prices across the country, Woolworths officials said higher costs were the result of logistics and freight expenses.

But they wouldn’t reveal freight costs, so as not to reveal margins.

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