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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Remote Jobs and Economic Development Program

The Australian Government is investing $707 million to deliver a new Remote Jobs and Economic Development Program (RJED) in the second half of 2024 that provides people in remote communities with real jobs, proper wages and decent conditions.

The RJED program is being developed in partnership with First Nations people and will fund 3,000 jobs over three years.

It will support remote communities to determine local projects and job priorities to increase economic opportunities in their areas.

A Community Jobs and Business Fund will be an important element of the RJED program and responds to what communities have overwhelmingly asked for. As part of this fund, community-controlled organisations and local government can identify projects the community needs and apply for funding of capital and equipment.

There will also be a focus on young people to improve their employment opportunities once they’ve finished school.

As not everyone will be ready to go into a job or may require other support services, a remote employment service will still be needed.

Community Development Program (CDP) services will continue through an extension of most CDP provider agreements until 30 June 2025.

You can read Prime Minister Albanese/Minister Burney’s joint announcement about the RJED program.

You can read a factsheet about the RJED program.

Consultation opportunities

The design of the RJED program will be informed by consultation with remote community members, peak bodies, First Nations people, CDP providers and participants and other stakeholders.

A new First Nations Reference Group was established in March 2024 to oversee and advise on the design and implementation of the RJED program.

You can read Minister Burney's media release about the First Nations Reference Group here.

You can read the Group's communiqués from their meetings below:

The current three job trials underway – the New Jobs Program Trial, CDP Trials and Ngaanyatjarra Lands Trial – are helping us test what works and what doesn’t work so we can create the best possible program for the future. 

The next stage of consultations will focus on the design of a new jobs program and how it should work in practice. This will include face-to-face consultations in remote communities during the first half of 2024.

The NIAA held it’s first stage of community consultations between February and June 2023. We listened and learned from more than 2,250 people and visited over 100 communities. Key messages from communities were that a new program should:

  • be planned and led by communities
  • recognise roles carried out in the communities
  • take a new approach for young people
  • support local jobs for local people
  • include a form of reciprocity
  • be flexible to invest in local priorities
  • assist people unable to work right now.

You can read more in the full Replacing the Community Development Program consultation report, the consultation summary on a page or watch the video that follows.

Video transcript of community consultations on the design of a new program to replace the Community Development Program.

On 31 August 2022 Minister Burney hosted the Remote Employment Roundtable (ahead of the Jobs and Skills Summit on 1–2 September 2022), as a first step towards a new program.

You can read Minister Burney's media release regarding the roundtable.

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