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Australia falls short on Aboriginal welfare targets

Published on Feb 12, 2014 11:14 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday admitted Australia has failed to meet important targets on Aboriginal life expectancy, education and employment, but insisted progress has been made in other areas.

In delivering his first "Closing the Gap" report to parliament, which aims to improve the lives of the indigenous population by bridging the divide with non-indigenous Australians, Abbott said results were decidedly mixed.

The plan to halve the gap in child mortality within a decade was on track to be met, he said, while the goal of having 95 per cent of children living in remote areas enrolled for pre-school was also on target.

However, he said, "The bad news is that there's almost no progress in closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and other Australians - which is still about a decade.

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