The Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) intervention officially referred to as “Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory” but more commonly as “the intervention” is less than a year away from its statutory end in September next year. It has entered a potentially transformative stage that is a critical time for sound policy making and a dangerous time for Aboriginal people in “prescribed” communities especially if bad policy is legally locked in again.
Last month the Australian government released its latest Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory Monitoring Report January — June 2011 in two parts. The most recent data on progress suggests that the intervention is failing, at least if its aim is to close gaps of socioeconomic disadvantage between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in the NT. This view can only be surmised because evidently measuring gap reduction, at least in the bizarre world of indigenous public policy in Australia, can be magically undertaken without any comparative data on non-indigenous outcomes.