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CDEP cancellation is bad policy

The Australian Greens today renewed calls for the Federal Government to reconsider the cancellation of Community Development Employment Programs (CDEP) in the wake of the global financial crisis.

"There is growing concern in the community at the cancellation of the CDEP scheme on 1 July and the transfer of people in that scheme onto Newstart. This is the wrong decision for the Minister to be making, when the Australian job market is rapidly contracting as a result of the global financial crisis," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The Greens welcomed the previous investment by the government in converting some CDEP jobs into proper wages, however we are still concerned that the government's cancellation of CDEP is a move in the wrong direction."

"It makes no sense, at a time of rising unemployment, to be moving Aboriginal people out of CDEP jobs - where they are gainfully employed building infrastructure or delivering community services - and onto the dole queue," said Senator Siewert.

"Minister Macklin needs to see sense and act to revamp CDEP rather than cancel it - so that those for whom there is little prospect of employment during an economic downturn can be doing something more constructive, such as improving their skills, maintaining their self-esteem and staying in contact with the culture of work."

"I urge the government to reconsider their current planning for CDEP and to invest in the future of Aboriginal Australians who also desperately need support during this growing financial crisis," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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