Doorstop - Central Coast New South Wales

Release Date: 
17 February 2015
Transcript
E&OE

JOURNALIST:

Let’s start off with this report. Obviously pretty disappointing at the moment – the results – what’s the next step?

ALAN TUDGE:

This is the Closing the Gap report?

JOURNALIST:

Yes.

ALAN TUDGE:

It was a disappointing report overall but there also were some green shoots. For example, the Year 12 graduation rate is up; the number of people going to university is 50 per cent higher than a decade ago; the life expectancy gap is now only ten years when it was significantly larger many years ago.
There are some green shoots but there is a long, long way to go.

JOURNALIST:

What are the priorities? Obviously there is that distinct list. What would be the top priorities there?

ALAN TUDGE:

Our top priorities are ensuring kids are in school and adults are in work. Because at the end of the day, they are the key essential items which underpin all functional societies in all of human history – that kids have learnt from adults and adults have worked for their sustenance. That is what we’re focused on.

JOURNALIST:

These are obviously national issues as well. On the coast particularly we have a lot of problems with jobs and youth unemployment. Are these in particular issues that will be addressed at the lunch today?

ALAN TUDGE: I think we will be discussing some of these issues today. It is interesting here in the Central Coast, they do very well in school attendance where the school attendance rate of the Indigenous kids is almost exactly the same as the non-Indigenous kids.

Employment is the real challenge here, where the gap is still quite large and we need to do more to try and get more Indigenous people into work.

JOURNALIST:

What do you hope to get from the leaders here today?

ALAN TUDGE:

For me, I’m here to listen – to listen to what they have to say, where we can work better cooperatively together on some of those core goals – getting kids to school, adults to work and making the community safe.