Report on Indigenous disadvantage suppressed

Issue 

A confidential report titled Partnerships Queensland was drafted last year by the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy. The report — which found there was an urgent need to improve the standard of living for Indigenous people and take "immediate and sustained action" — was withheld from public release before the September state election. Premier Peter Beattie's government abolished the department after Labor's re-election.

The report is a baseline study of Aboriginal living standards and was to form part of the government's 2005-2010 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy.

According to News Ltd, which published extracts of the report on January 17, the study found that Aboriginal children aged 7-14 years are 26 to 37 times more likely to be admitted to detention than non-Indigenous children. Between 15-24 years of age, they are six times more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease and 12 times more likely to be jailed.

Queensland Aborigines aged 25 and over are eight times less likely to have a job, five times more likely to be charged by police and 10 times more likely to be put in jail than non-Aborigines.

The report also found that young children residing on Aboriginal Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) communities were 23 to 45 times more likely to be admitted to hospital for assault than Queensland non-Indigenous young children. Indigenous children comprised 40.2% of all hospital admissions for those aged 0-4 years who had been assaulted.

The report stated there was an "urgent need to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples standard of living" and recommended "immediate and sustained action to reduce the disparity in all life stages".

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