I was pleased to hear at the public hearing of the COVID Senate Select Committee today that there are active discussions about the future of the Community Development Program.
CDP cannot continue to keep running as it was before its suspension as part of the response to COVID19. It is a punitive and discriminatory program that sees work for the dole participants, who are largely First Nations peoples having to do work hours and have participation requirements that are far higher than those in the Jobactive program.
We need employment and support programs designed and led by First Nations peoples and they have to be funded for the long term. CDEP should never have been dropped in the first place.
APONT has put forward an employment model that has been ignored by the Government and we strong recommend that the Minister any future program this model.
The Government’s own 2019 evaluation of the program articulates what is well known, that First Nations peoples are more likely to be penalised and are penalised more often than their city counterparts.