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NSW budget boost for Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap and other projects to improve outcomes for Aboriginal communities will receive a $400 million boost in the NSW budget.

The money, to be delivered over four years, represents a significant investment as well as the need for “a fresh approach to meaningfully shift the dial”, says Premier Dominic Perrottet.

“It’s clear traditional government-led approaches haven’t worked,” he said on Sunday.

“This needs to be done hand-in-hand with Aboriginal communities, who know best what changes need to be made to help communities thrive.

“That’s why we’ve worked in partnership with Aboriginal stakeholders to co-design a suite of initiatives across all areas of government to make a greater difference.”

The funds will go to improving cancer care pathways, boosting the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation sector and supporting Aboriginal community housing providers.

The NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations will lead the partnership.

The package, which will come into play when Treasurer Matt Kean hands down his budget on June 21, will also include a $30 million Community and Place Grants Program.

Up to $250,000 will be distributed to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to deliver activities targeting Closing the Gap outcomes.

Investment in Aboriginal culture and languages are also included in the funds, as is the remediation and transfer of Me-Mel (Goat Island) in Sydney Harbour to the Aboriginal community.

“This is a very significant moment for Aboriginal people and communities, and for the first time we are seeing a government genuinely investing in the needs of Aboriginal people to address the disparities under Closing the Gap,” said NSW Aboriginal Land Council chair Charles Lynch.

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