The Greens have condemned the Government’s reintroduction of the discriminatory remote work-for-the-dole scheme Community Development Program (CDP) that disproportionately impacts First Nations peoples.
"It’s very disturbing to hear anecdotal claims from employment providers saying that the increase to income support is leading to more drinking and anti-social behaviours”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
The increase in income support has lead to people being able to feed their families, buy essential items and pay bills.
Government should be investing in addressing the barriers people face to employment such as poverty, housing and ill health, particularly for young people who have a higher probability of being penalised.
There clearly need to be more in jobs creation in remote communities, particularly in the care economy.
The CDP program is a top down punitive approach that is not even close to being in line with closing the gap objectives of self-determination and community control.
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.
Why should people in remote regions, the vast majority of whom are First Nations peoples have to be subjected to a work-for-the-dole scheme that is far harsher and more punitive than their city counterparts.
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.
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.
CDP has to go.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180