National Close the Gap Day last week marked fourteen years since Close the Gap targets were first announced.
It was a time for Australians everywhere to recommit to the aims of the campaign, because the Morrison Government has continued to fail when it comes to closing the gap.
This has had real life consequences for Indigenous Australians, and enough is enough. We have a long way to go before true social equality is reached, but we are still determined to create the change that needs to happen.
Since 2008 the Indigenous employment rate has increased by less than 1 per cent. Without opportunities for secure employment, our communities will continue to be held back.
This minor increase was even less noteworthy considering the current target of increasing employment to 62 per cent by 2031 lacks ambition.
If things don’t change at the governmental level, then even this target won’t be achievable.
We have sent a powerful message to the Morrison government that every day the government fails to act, more Indigenous lives will be lost, and communities fractured.
The lack of secure employment opportunities, particularly for our young people, have been a key factor in entrenching disadvantage.
Despite the platitudes Morrison has delivered, the Liberal Government has continued to deprive tens of thousands of people a good job and dignity of work.
Remote dole workers in what is known as the Community Development Program (CDP) have been paid well below minimum wage, denied protections in the Fair Work Act and have been used as exploited Indigenous labour.
Through the First Nations Workers’ Alliance, we will continue to provide Community Development Programme workers with a collective voice to campaign for fair wages and employment conditions as we work to ensure the CDP isn’t replaced with something equally destructive.
All union members can join the Alliance here. If you’re not yet a member of a union, now is the best time to join.
Australian Unions is made up of workers driving the movement to create better, safer workplaces for the future.
If you want to see change, together we can take action to drive that change.