The Community Development Programme (CDP)

The Community Development Programme (CDP) is our remote employment and community development service. CDP has two parts; helping people find work, and allowing them to contribute to their communities and gain skills while looking for work.

We started the CDP on 1 July 2015, replacing the Remote Jobs and Community Programme. We believe the CDP better serves people in remote Australia, leading to better job opportunities and helping community members to help themselves.

The CDP is an essential part of the Australian Government’s agenda for increasing employment and breaking the cycle of welfare dependency in remote areas of Australia.

The CDP is flexible and focused on local decision making and local solutions. Under the CDP, job seekers with activity requirements are expected to do up to 25 hours per week of work-like activities that benefit their community. Activities can take different forms and are suited to the job seeker, their community and the local job market.

Providers are working with remote communities to increase the number and range of community development activities available. They are also promoting these opportunities to the CDP participants while helping them to understand what they need to do to continue receiving income support.

The CDP participants in remote Australia receive personalised assistance from their provider to help build their skills, get a job and to participate to their maximum capacity. Job seekers can undertake formal training, with the opportunity to gain qualifications, or foundational skills training, including language, literacy and numeracy and driver’s training, as part of their activity requirement. Job seekers can also gain up to six months of work experience in a real workplace.

Key Dates

Community Development Programme reforms

On 2 December 2015, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs introduced the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Community Development Program) Bill 2015 in the Senate to change remote income support and compliance arrangements. This legislation lapsed when the Parliament was dissolved on 9 May 2016. See the CDP Reform Legislation Factsheet for further information.

The Government is committed to reforming the Community Development Programme and strengthening the incentives for remote job seekers to actively engage with their mutual obligation requirements and increase their opportunities to participate in paid work. Further information will be available once Government has made an announcement on next steps. 

Where the programme operates

The CDP is now delivered in 60 regions and over 1000 communities around Australia. The CDP is supporting around 37,000 Australians, more than 80 per cent of whom are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Since the start of theCDP, there has been a large increase in remote Indigenous job seekers increasing their skills while helping their communities.

From 30 June 2015 to 31 December 2015, the rate of remote Indigenous job seekers involved in the CDP has risen from 46.7 per cent to 68.5 per cent (or 17,138 job seekers).

For further information about CDP regions and providers see relevant factsheets.

More information:

  • For further information see information and factsheets on employment and economic development in remote Australia and information about the CDP provider in your region.
  • For enquires about CDP in your region, contact the provider in your region or the PM&C Regional Network.
  • You can contact the Employment Services Information Line (ESIL) 13 62 68 for general information on employment services and the CDP and to reset Australian Jobsearch passwords.
  • The Department of Employment’s National Customer Service Line (NCSL) 1800 805 260 can help with questions about jobactive, the Government's employment services programme that operates outside remote Australia. 
  • For general enquires or feedback about the changes to remote employment services, email: Complaints can be sent to

Latest News


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.