Another day, another disappointing display from Labor Senator Malandirri McCarthy this time repeating discredited claims about the Community Development Program (CDP).
While the union bred and union led Bill Shorten plans to scrap the highly successful CDP and bring back sit-down money and passive welfare, Indigenous community stakeholders have endorsed the CDP and the reforms the Coalition is introducing to make the CDP even more successful.
In response to the Government’s reforms announced this week, Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy further alarmed remote job-seekers as well as the taxpayers that fund the CDP by today declaring Labor would scrap all CDP breaches and those who break the rules.
Labor is clearly out of step with the community and the need to maintain the fundamental principle of mutual obligation which underpins Australia’s welfare system.
The question Senator McCarthy should be called to account to answer is why she cannot produce any evidence to support her repeated claim that the CDP is causing people to go hungry.
I have written to Labor asking for any evidence of this claim and never received a response. If people are going hungry Senator McCarthy, tell me where and let’s work together to fix it!
This latest display shows Labor is more interested in playing politics than improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Extraordinarily Senator McCarthy said that the Government’s reforms that deliver more local control and decision making for Indigenous communities and organisations as “tinkering around the edges”.
I strongly refute the suggestion that local empowerment and our engagement of Indigenous organisations is just tinkering around the edges. These changes – in combination with our reforms to deliver more flexibility for job seekers to complete their mutual obligation requirements and the establishment of a subsidised jobs program – will ensure local communities are able to tailor the CDP to meet their own aspirations and take advantage of local labour market opportunities.
Finally, Senator McCarthy called for the removal of all mutual obligation requirements on job seekers. This is an astonishing admission that Labor’s plan is to cut the $1 billion CDP and replace it with the misery of unconditional welfare that leaves job seekers unsupported to participate and contribute to their community and with no pathway to employment. Senator McCarthy has confirmed that Labor will restore passive welfare and the misery of sit down money that caused declining rates of school attendance, employment and community safety when Labor was last in Government.
Ken Vowles stood up to Territory Labor ripping off remote communities and the faceless union men who were calling the shots, and now it’s time for Senator McCarthy to do the same.