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Remote Jobs and Economic Development Program

In February 2024, the Australian Government announced that it would invest $707 million to deliver a new Remote Jobs and Economic Development (RJED) program to start in the second half of 2024. The new program will provide people in remote communities with meaningful jobs with fair pay and conditions.

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

This program is about creating real jobs that are supported by employment services.

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

A $185 million 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 organisations can identify projects the community needs and apply for funding of minor capital and equipment.

There will also be a focus on young people to improve their employment opportunities once they have 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, before a new remote employment service begins.

You can read:

Consultation opportunities

In 2023, the NIAA consulted with more than 2,250 people and visited over 100 remote communities to hear from First Nations people about what they thought should be included in a new jobs program in CDP communities. What we heard led to the announcement of the new RJED program, with a commitment to develop this new program in partnership with First Nations peoples.

Further consultations have been underway since April 2024 to hear from remote communities, First Nations people, job seekers and other key stakeholders on the design of the RJED program and how it should work in practice. There have been face-to-face and virtual consultations in remote communities and feedback received on a discussion paper and an online survey which will inform the final design and delivery of the program.

The draft Grant Opportunity Guidelines (GOGs) are now available for public feedback and are the next step in designing the program in partnership.

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First Nations Reference Group

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 and its Terms of Reference.

Advice from the FNRG's design sessions and meetings with Minister Burney is helping inform the co-design for the new remote jobs program, including the grant process.

Feedback from the FNRG, community consultations, and findings from existing evidence on remote employment have informed elements of the draft Grant Opportunity Guidelines – which are currently open for public consultation.

You can read a summary of the options and issues FNRG considered in the program design to inform the draft GOGs.

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


Job trials

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. 

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Are you interested in the development of the RJED program and remote employment more broadly?

You can register your interest to receive the latest updates and give feedback by providing your details below.

You can read previous issues of our newsletters below:

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