Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said that the forthcoming referendum on whether to entrench an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and Executive Government in the Australian Constitution is about ‘listening’ to Indigenous people.
But sometimes there needs to be more than just talking and listening, debating and arguing, advocacy and activism. The old Latin adage facta, non verba means deeds, not words. When it comes to real action on addressing Indigenous disadvantage in Australia the State of Tasmania is leading the way. And it is doing so without a permanent, constitutionally-entrenched Indigenous Voice.
Based on the 17 key outcomes targeted in the 2020 National Agreement on Closing the Gap, Tasmania is leading the country in terms of the life outcomes for its Indigenous people. Tasmania has the highest proportion of Indigenous people in its population of any state, (only the Northern Territory has a higher proportion) and those 33,000 Indigenous Tasmanians lead the country in terms of the socio-economic factors that state and national governments are focusing on.
The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has analysed the federal government’s statistics for each of the 17 Closing the Gap outcomes. We have given a score of 1 to 8 for each state and territory for each outcome (the lowest score of 1 being the worst performing state or territory, 8 being the highest performing). When tallied up, giving each outcome equal weight, Tasmania leads the country.