Changes by the Turnbull Government to the Community Development Program (CDP) in remote and regional Australia are tinkering around the edges, despite Minister Scullion promising an overhaul of the broken program, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“As it stands at the moment job seekers in remote and regional Australia are suffering under the CDP, which imposes unfair mutual obligations and is causing significant harm in communities.
“The Government has slightly reduced the number of hours people have to work but this does not bring it in line with the obligations of other jobseekers. They are planning to bring CDP in line with their new demerit point system which is likely to have significant adverse consequences.
“Minister Scullion has stood up in front of Aboriginal communities and promised to overhaul this program, with a shift to community wages that worked in the previous CDEP program. Changes announced in the budget are a major backtracking of that commitment and I am deeply concerned about the ongoing wellbeing of individuals and communities affected.
“More and more people in remote communities, are being slugged with fines because the program is failing to meet their needs. This is having a dire impact on individuals, families and the whole community.
“I have to once again ask why the mutual obligations for the CDP program are so much harsher than what is expected of jobseekers in the city? Its blatantly discriminatory and to the detriment of those forced to participate in it for income support. Minister Scullion needs to act urgently to fix the program”.