In 2008 COAG set specific and ambitious targets for Closing the Gap:
- To close the life-expectancy gap within a generation
- To halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade
- To ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four years olds in remote communities within five years
- To halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children within a decade
- To halve the gap in Indigenous Year 12 achievement by 2020
- To halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.
COAG recognises that overcoming Indigenous disadvantage will require a sustained commitment from all levels of government to work together and with Indigenous people, with major effort directed to seven action areas or ‘building blocks’.
The building blocks endorsed by COAG are:
- Early Childhood
- Economic Participation
- Healthy Homes
- Safe Communities
- Governance and Leadership.
The building blocks are linked – achieving the Closing the Gap targets requires progress in each of these areas. Strategies aimed at achieving improvements in any one area will not work in isolation.