Jobs Australia Welcomes ALP Plan to Abolish CDP, Calls for New Scheme that Fully Funds Jobs

Jobs Australia Welcomes ALP Plan to Abolish CDP, Calls for New Scheme that Fully Funds Jobs


Jobs Australia has welcomed today’s announcement by the ALP that it will abolish the Community Development Program (CDP) and replace it with a new program. 

At today’s Labor Party National Conference, Senator Pat Dodson announced that CDP is "discriminatory, punitive and ineffectual", and that we need "a program that creates jobs, meets community needs and delivers meaningful training and economic development."

Jobs Australia CEO, Ms Debra Cerasa, today said, “We need a better model for employment and participation services in remote areas, one which relies more on motivating people through paid work than on financial penalties.

“Under CDP, participants must do work for the dole every day, all year round.  By comparison, other unemployed people in non-remote areas do it for 6 months each year, and only after they’ve been unemployed for a year. Understandably, this has led to accusations that the program is unfair and discriminatory and sets people up to fail.

“Last year a Senate inquiry found that CDP is causing real harm to people in CDP and their communities, and is pushing people further into poverty, crime and other social issues.”

Since commencing in 2015, the number of financial penalties applied to CDP participants has increased at an alarming rate. Participants get penalised more than 25 times the rate of penalties applied to people in the mainstream programs like jobactive. The number of people in the program has also fallen by around 20%, because it is too hard for many people to comply with.

Jobs Australia supports the establishment of a new remote employment scheme, based on Fair Work and Strong Communities: Proposal for a Remote Development and Employment Scheme. This proposal was developed by a national alliance of Indigenous and other non-Government organisations, including Jobs Australia.

This Fair Work and Strong Communities proposal would fund at least 12,000 new jobs in remote communities, with the scheme adapted to local circumstances. The Remote Development and Employment Scheme aims for long-term improvements in employment rates, increased incomes and empowering local communities.

Ms Cerasa continued, “Jobs Australia welcomes Labor’s commitment to working in partnership with First Nations peoples to finalise the scheme.

"We need to ensure that jobs are fully funded under a new scheme to ensure that it succeeds. Instead of Work for the Dole, the Fair Work and Strong Communities proposal will create more meaningful opportunities for participation, based on people’s capacity and needs. It will create jobs and put remote local communities back in control of their futures.”


For further comment, contact: Mary Masters, Jobs Australia, 0400 014 008. 

For more information on Fair Work and Strong Communities, see: