Treaty is the Missing Ingredient for Closing the Gap

Feb 7, 2024

Key findings from the Productivity Commission that transferring decision-making power into Aboriginal hands will deliver better outcomes for communities and help close the gap, have been welcomed by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria – the elected group of 32 Traditional Owners of Country set to begin negotiating a Treaty with the Victorian Government this year. 

Gunditjmara man and Assembly Co-chair, Rueben Berg, said the report rightly identifies that Aboriginal people are the experts when it comes to delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal communities.

“It’s common sense. If politicians want better outcomes for our communities, if they want to ‘close the gap’, then they have to start handing over some of the decision-making power to Aboriginal people. That’s what we’ll be talking about in our Treaty negotiations,”

Rueben Berg

The Commission’s report, released today, shows governments are making insufficient progress towards closing the gap between.

The report identifies a number of key reasons – including that governments are reluctant to relinquish control over decisions that will enable better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – and recommends better utilising Aboriginal community-controlled organisations that provide better value than governments in delivering better outcomes for communities. 

“Treaty is about making sure it’s Aboriginal people who are the ones developing and delivering the solutions at a local level,”

Rueben Berg

You can read the full report here.