Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says he'll fight any attempt to water down the Closing the Gap strategy for indigenous Australians.
Days before the 10th anniversary of his apology to Aboriginal Australians, Mr Rudd says successive governments have failed to fulfil their funding commitments, while others have lost the political resolve to get the job done.
He challenged federal and state leaders to "stay the course" on the Closing the Gap targets on Friday ahead of next Tuesday's national commemoration of his 2008 apology to the stolen generation on behalf of the commonwealth.
"I'll be the first one leading the charge against (any watering down) by any side of politics," Mr Rudd told reporters at NSW parliament.
"We should instead enhance them (the targets), add to them in critical areas like indigenous incarceration rates ... the removal of children from extended family and community, where we run the risk of creating a second stolen generation."
Mr Rudd said while some progress had been made on all 2008 targets he agreed with current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who's argued the seven goals should be refreshed.
"These things are always in need of enhancement and improvement but not watering down - making them stronger for the future," he said.
"Of course they're bloody hard - they're meant to be.
"We've been through a couple of hundred years of indigenous oppression. We have a lot of ground to make up."
Mr Turnbull on Friday announced state and territories are to be given their own targets to help close the gap.
The federal government had come under fire on Thursday when indigenous groups released their own review of the strategy accusing the prime minister of effectively abandoning the seven key target goals.
The original closing the gap strategy was introduced after Mr Rudd's much-applauded formal apology to the stolen generation.
Reconciliation Australia chief executive Karen Mundine says although the apology and strategy were positive steps the country risks repeating past wrongs.
"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are (still) removed from their families at 10 times the rate of non-indigenous children," Ms Mundine said in a statement on Friday.
"It is deeply concerning that Australia still has policies in place that result in the breaking up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families at an alarming rate".
Annual reports tracking the strategy's progress towards meeting the targets show only one goal is likely to be met - to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment by 2020.
Mr Turnbull is due to unveil the 10th annual report card on Monday.
THE 2008 CLOSING THE GAP TARGETS:
* Halve the gap in child mortality by 2018
* Close the gap in life expectancy by 2031
* To have 95 per cent of all indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025
* Close the gap in school attendance by the end of 2018
* Halve the gap in reading and numeracy for indigenous students by 2018
* Halve the gap in Year 12 attainment by 2020
* Halve the gap in employment by 2018
Australian Associated Press