Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion has welcomed a report from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) into the Community Development Programme (CDP) that stated the introduction of the program has been successful.
The report explored the design and implementation of the programme, which is designed to support people in remote Australia move from welfare into work, and enhance community development.
“I am pleased that the report recognised the effective implementation of the CDP. We are getting job seekers in remote Australia off welfare and into work,” Minister Scullion said.
Since the start of CDP the programme has supported over 20,000 job placements, and on over 6200 occasions these jobs have lasted for at least six months.
“The performance audit also recognised the stronger provider performance and compliance measures that we have put in place. I have high expectations of our providers to deliver quality, tailored services for job seekers in remote areas and will continue to hold them to account.
“The CDP replaced the previous Remote Jobs and Communities Programme. Indigenous leaders and people in remote communities were clear that they wanted an end to passive welfare and sit-down money.
“The CDP is delivering for communities by preparing participants for employment, and improving community amenities, creating safer and healthier communities.
“The CDP is working – with 93 per cent of eligible job seekers placed in work-like activities and active participation now at 72 per cent and I am pleased that the ANAO has recognised the increased funding that the Coalition Government is providing to support remote job seekers.
“This is in stark contrast to Labor’s failed Remote Jobs and Communities Programme that moved away from the former Community Development and Employment Programme which led to a reduction in engagement of job seekers to just 7 per cent.
The ANAO made one recommendation regarding the CDP provider payment structure. The Government has accepted this recommendation and will review the payment model.
“Getting people into work in remote communities is complex and there is certainly room to improve.
“I am focused on continuing to improve employment and economic development outcomes for people in remote Australia, including many of the positive elements of the former Community Development and Employment Programme that Labor abandoned in 2013.
“We will soon commence consultation on a new remote employment model for Australia.”