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Govt study of Indigenous disadvantage says more info needed

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 13 November 2003


A Government committee considering Indigenous disadvantage has found a lack of data makes it impossible to tell whether conditions are getting better or worse.

Prime Minister John Howard in his role as the head of the Council of Australian Governments ordered a review of key Indigenous indicators last year.

The committee has found in all major practical areas, Indigenous Australians are worse-off than non-Indigenous Australians.

But the Chair of the committee Gary Banks says a gaping hole in Indigenous data makes it difficult to tell what Government policy changes might be needed.

"We don't have a clear understanding about whether things have been getting better or worse over time," Mr Banks said.

Mr Banks says there is next to no data available about Indigenous disabilities, school attendance and drug and substance abuse.

He says that needs to be improved before any fruitful policy advice can be given.


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