- The Coalition Government will begin implementing reforms to the Community Development Program from March 2019 to build engagement and deliver the best outcomes for remote job seekers and communities.
- Phase one of the reforms include increasing flexibility for job seekers to complete their mutual obligation requirements, reducing participation hours to up to 20 hours per week, changing the provider payment model to incentivise greater engagement and job outcomes, establishing a capital investment fund and building community engagement.
- CDP reforms will build on the success achieved to date – lifting participation from 7 per cent under Labor’s program to 74 per cent today and delivering over 29,000 jobs, with more than 10,000 six month job outcomes.
Job seekers in remote Australia will have more opportunities for flexible working arrangements under the first phase of the Coalition Government’s reforms to the Community Development Program (CDP).
Changes to Australia’s remote employment and community development service will be rolled out from March this year to facilitate greater employment outcomes for CDP participants.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said this first phase of reforms aimed to increase CDP participants’ attendance and reduce the number of penalties applied to remote job seekers in the current compliance framework.
“These changes will have an immediate impact for people living in remote Australia,” Minister Scullion said.
“Community members have told me we need to focus on engaging job seekers and reduce the number of penalties. We’re responding by implementing some of our planned reforms ahead of the full suite of changes that will be brought in later this year following the passage of legislation.
“These changes are part of the suite of reforms that the Coalition Government announced in the 2018/19 Budget and introduced in the Parliament in 2018 to deliver community control, 85 per cent less breaches and 6,000 new subsidised jobs. Unfortunately, Pat Dodson and Labor walked away from discussions and opposed the full suite of legislative reforms.
“While the Government remains committed to passing legislation to implement these reforms, these initial changes are the first step towards delivering what remote communities are calling for.
Minister Scullion said flexible hours were being introduced so participants could take part in CDP alongside other family and cultural commitments.
“Communities have been asking for this flexibility in hours and this change will make the program more reflective of present workplace practices around the country,” he said.
“This increased flexibility, along with a reduction in required participation hours from up to 25 per week to up to 20 hours per week, will make a real difference to communities.
“The first phase of reforms will also include a new payment model to incentivise CDP providers to offer a more tailored service to keep participants engaged in activities or in a job.
“Providers will be able to spend more time supporting CDP participants into activities or work.
Minister Scullion said strengthening community say over how CDP is delivered locally is central to CDP reforms.
“Supporting community engagement through community advisory boards and establishing a $2 million capital investment fund will be accelerated to the reforms’ first phase,” Minister Scullion said.
“Importantly, the program will only be delivered by Indigenous organisations, giving community greater opportunity to have a say in CDP’s local delivery.”
Minister Scullion said that the CDP had been remarkably successful in turning around the misery and hopelessness of Labor’s failed Remote Jobs and Communities Package (RJCP).
“Labor’s RJCP was nothing more than sit down money. There was no proper compliance, no meaningful activity requirements, no jobs, no purpose, no dignity, no hope, and absolutely no point to the program.
“Remote job seekers and the communities in which they live will be alarmed about Labor’s plans to abolish the CDP and replace it with sit down money and unconditional welfare and the consequences this will bring.
“The Coalition’s CDP in contrast supports job seekers in remote Australia to build skills, address barriers to employment and contribute to their communities through a range of flexible activities.
“The CDP has seen participation lifted from a frankly shocking 7 per cent under Labor’s failed RJCP to now more than 74 per cent.
“Since CDP was established in 2015, remote job seekers have been supported into more than 29,000 jobs. On almost 10,000 occasions, these jobs have continued for at least six months,” Minister Scullion said today.