The Australian Government will build on the early success of the Community Development Programme (CDP) by introducing a more direct and immediate compliance regime that will encourage jobseekers to be more active in their communities.
The Government will today introduce legislation to reform the CDP so that local service providers will make income support payments instead of Centrelink and there will be a stronger connection between jobseekers fulfilling their obligations and the income support they receive.
“The CDP is already proving to be a success, with the number of jobseekers placed into activities up 50 per cent since the start of the programme. About 66 per cent of jobseekers have been placed into activities – up from 45 per cent on July 1,” Minister Scullion said.
“The changes to the CDP will build on this momentum and we will continue to work with service providers until all working-age people living in remote communities are either working or actively engaged in activities that benefit communities.
“Under these reforms, there will be more local decision-making by providers who know the jobseekers and have closer connections to what is going on in communities.
“Payments will be made weekly so remote jobseekers have immediate access to their money and feel the financial impact of not turning up to activities straight away – not weeks down the track.
“Jobseekers will be able to participate in a wide range of activities driven by their local community – for the benefit of their local community. This could include delivering ‘meals on wheels’ and getting children to school every day.
“Remote job seekers will also be able to earn more income on top of their welfare payments. Until they reach the minimum wage, their income support will depend on their participation in CDP activities, rather than income thresholds, taper rates and work credits. This simple system will make it easier to move between income support and intermittent work, which is typical in many remote areas.”
The reforms will be phased in from 1 July 2016. The new arrangements will only be rolled out where there are capable service providers with strong community connections. Initially, the reforms are likely to be rolled out in four remote regions, and affect around 2000 jobseekers.
“The Government will continue to work closely with service providers to ensure they full understand the reforms and have the capacity to implement them,” Minister Scullion said
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