AN update to the national strategy to help tackle Indigenous disadvantage has been welcomed by local Indigenous community leaders.
The new Close the Gap scheme was signed off by all levels of Australian government on Thursday and will have 16 key focuses including improving life expectancy, education and changes to land rights for Indigenous Australians by 2031.
Gomeroi Dance Company co-director Marc Sutherland said the updated plan was a welcome new direction on the initial Close the Gap scheme, which was formed in 2008.
"At first glance, I'm really happy with what has come out about the strategy," Mr Sutherland told the Leader.
"The previous Close the Gap strategy was not hitting the targets it was hoped to and from a community point of view, the previous approach wasn't really well supported.
"What's really exciting about this new approach is that the Aboriginal community, through the Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations (CAPO) has been involved in forming the strategy, which I don't think was as prevalent in the last strategy."
NSW CAPO co-chair Cindy Berwick said a lot of work needed to be done to ensure the goals were met by 2031.
"There is a lot to be done and we look forward to a constructive partnership with the commonwealth, state and territory governments to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples," Ms Barwick said.
Mr Sutherland said the appointment of Ken Wyatt as the federal Minister for Indigenous Australians was key to reshaping the Close the Gap strategy.
"Personally, I don't think it is a coincidence a lot more consultation with local community groups has gone into forming this strategy since Ken Wyatt was named as the minister," he said.
"The beauty of having more consultation with community groups means the plan is far more targeted and the accountability for the success of the plan is clearer.
"In the past, if one of the plan's goals wasn't met it wasn't clear who was accountable for that and it meant the community's support wavered.
"Now that accountability is there, we feel a lot more confident the hard work that is required to accomplish all 16 goals by 2031 will be done and we can live in optimism."
For more information about the strategy, visit alc.org.au