December 14, 2017


The Senate inquiry report released today into the fraught Community Development Program (CDP) calls for a total overhaul of the unfair CDP system.

The report confirms what Labor and First Nations people, organisations and communities have been saying since the CDP was implemented in July 2015 – that the current CDP is not working. 

The report makes 21 recommendations including the immediate replacement of the current compliance and penalty system.

The report has called on the Government to ensure that CDP participants have the same legal rights and other responsibilities as other income support participants. Currently CDP remote participants must do 25 hours of "work-like" activities per week to receive welfare payments. This is up to three times longer than the requirement for unemployed people living in towns.

The report also called for a new program to be developed in consultation with First Nations people, so that people doing real work in their community can be properly paid. CDP participants do not currently receive award wages and cannot access leave, superannuation and workers compensation.

The Senate inquiry and its findings have forced the Government to review the failure of the CDP program.

Less than six weeks ago the Minister was praising CDP as a success but in a complete turnaround, reports of a CDP discussion paper released today show the Government has conceded the multiple failings of CDP.

The Minister’s belated discussion paper on proposed changes does not take into account the damage the discriminatory CDP continues to cause on communities.

The reality is many people on communities will still go hungry this Christmas because of the Minister’s failure to deal with this discriminatory and punitive CDP program.


Click here to read the report.