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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Replacing the Community Development Program with a new remote jobs program

The Australian Government will replace the Community Development Program (CDP) and is committed to working in partnership with First Nations People as the replacement program is developed. 

As a first step towards a new program, on 31 August 2022 the Minister for Indigenous Australians the Hon Linda Burney MP hosted the Remote Employment Roundtable, leading into the Jobs and Skills Summit on 1-2 September 2022. Minister Burney's media release regarding the roundtable is available here.  

In the October 2022 Budget, the Government announced the New Jobs Program Trial to support additional trials in selected communities with grand funding available for 200 jobs at the minimum wage rate. More information is available below. 

Consultation Opportunities

The Government is conducting consultations to seek views on the design of a program to replace the Community Development Program. We want to hear from CDP participants, former participants, community leaders, service providers, employers and others on ways the new program can best help those in remote communities. 

If you aren't able to participate in a consultation session, there are more opportunities to share your ideas and feedback. 

For updates on the Government's work to replace CDP with a new jobs program, including additional opportunities to provide feedback, register your interest in receiving email updates. 

New Jobs Program Trial

In the October 2022-23 Budget, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Linda Burney MP, announced $9.4 million for the New Jobs Program Trial, to support additional targeted trials in communities with grant funding available for up to 200 jobs at the minimum wage rate, with leave and superannuation. 

The trial is another deliberate step towards delivering the Government’s commitment to replace the Community Development Program (CDP) with a new program with real jobs, proper wages and decent conditions for Australians living in remote communities. The New Jobs Program Trial will provide community based organisations in targeted CDP regions the opportunity to develop local approaches to jobs that support jobseekers to move off the income support system and into employment. 

The grant round to participate in the trial is expected to open this year. For information and planning purposes, refer to the Forecast Opportunity now available on GrantConnect

Remote Employment Roundtable Summary

On 31 August 2022, the Hon Linda Burney MP Minister for Indigenous Australians hosted the Remote Employment Roundtable at National Indigenous Australians Agency in Canberra, ahead of the National Jobs and Skills Summit. Experts from unions, business, and First Nations representatives met to discuss key employment issues and opportunities in remote Australia. 

Participants identified six key messages to share with the Jobs and Skills summit: 

  • The importance of real jobs, with proper wages and decent conditions.
  • One size does not fit all. The new program needs to be community led, meeting community needs.
  • Pathways to work, including access to appropriate training, to ensure that people are job ready.
  • Unlocking the barriers for entry to jobs, in particular police checks and licensing.
  • Mapping of job opportunities within communities will be an important element in helping connect people to work.
  • The engagement and contribution of other government portfolios, all levels of government and industry will be important. 

More information

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