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Close the Gap Campaign welcomes extension of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking programs

27 Feb 2018

The Close the Gap Campaign welcomes the new investment in the successful ‘National Tacking Indigenous Smoking’ (TIS) programs.

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt announced the Federal Government will provide a further $183.7 million to TIS over four years across its current 37 regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander TIS health providers.

The Campaign’s recently launched 10 year review of COAG’s Closing the Gap Strategy, highlighted the urgency for policy and funding stability to maintain and expand programs addressing chronic disease.

Close the Gap Campaign Co-Chair and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO, was pleased to see Government provide some certainty for a valued program.

“We will continue to be hard critics and recognise good policy when it comes to achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - our people depend on it. The work of people like Professor Tom Calma and others to develop and implement TIS is a great example of Aboriginal-led solutions to the challenges we face,” said Commissioner Oscar.

Rod Little, Campaign Co-Chair and Co-Chair National Congress of Australia’s First People’s also acknowledged the announcement as a critical reform in the Indigenous Health grant funding.

“The four year extension announcement four months prior to funding contract end dates is unprecedented,” said Mr Little.

”We know that tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has declined substantially, and research shows that this has been accompanied by declining tobacco-related cardiovascular mortality. Programs like TIS will continue to build on these successes and make a serious contribution towards closing the gap” said Mr Lilttle.

We applaud Government for this positive step towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s access to appropriate services to support better health outcomes.

Further information on TIS programs.

You can download a copy of the Close the Gap Campaign’s review here.

The Close the Gap Campaign for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality is a coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health and human rights organisations. The Campaign's goal is to raise the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to that of the non-Indigenous population within a generation: to close the gap by 2030. More than 220,000 Australians have signed up as supporters of the Campaign.

Find out more

View the Australian Human Rights Commission's original media release.

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