Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wants statistics on school and work attendance in indigenous communities to be published regularly as a measure of progress.
Mr Abbott told parliament the level of participation was a way of gauging the health of civil society in his response to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Closing the Gap statement.
"All our noble sentiments don't matter if adults aren't going to work and if children aren't going to school," he said.
"We should know who is present and who is absent every day."
Mr Abbott hoped next year's Closing the Gap statement - which he would present if the coalition wins the September 14 election - included attendance figures for preschool, primary and high schools and work projects in indigenous communities.
Mr Abbott reiterated his commitment to continue to spend a week every year working in a remote indigenous community.
The opposition leader said negotiations between his office and that of the prime minister meant the act of recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now before parliament should pass soon and unanimously.