Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Life expectancy for Indigenous Australians 2005-07

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Minister for Health and Ageing

Today’s life expectancy estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) demonstrate why comprehensive action continues to be needed to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The estimates indicate the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has been revised to 11.5 years for males and 9.7 years for females based on a new method of estimation by the ABS.

The Australian Statistician Brian Pink has noted that these figures should not be interpreted as changes in Indigenous life expectancy over time.

There is no question that the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is too wide.

It is not acceptable that an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child born today will have a significantly shorter life than other Australian children.

The Australian Government views reducing the life expectancy gap as both a national priority and a national responsibility because every Australian child has the right to lead a safe and healthy life.

In the recent Budget, the Government committed $1.3 billion to continue driving its national reform agenda to turn around Indigenous disadvantage.

This is in addition to the Australian Government’s $3.6 billion commitment to the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) National Partnerships to improve Indigenous early childhood development, remote housing, employment and health outcomes while driving fundamental reforms to Indigenous remote service delivery.

State and Territory governments are committing an additional $1 billion to these reforms.