Community Development Programme Reform Legislation - Information Sheet

Indigenous AffairsEmploymentCommunity Development Programme (CDP)
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Publication author(s):
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

On 2 December 2015, the Government introduced legislation into the Parliament that will mean changes to remote income support and compliance arrangements.

If this legislation is passed, it will provide for:

  • weekly welfare payments to job seekers;
  • more immediate job seeker compliance arrangements;
  • localised decision making by Community Development Programme (CDP) providers; and
  • job seekers earning more income on top of their welfare payments.

Reforms to CDP

On 2 December 2015, the Government introduced legislation into the Parliament that will mean changes to remote income support and compliance arrangements.
If this legislation is passed, it will provide for:

  • weekly welfare payments to job seekers;
  • more immediate job seeker compliance arrangements;
  • localised decision making by Community Development Programme (CDP) providers; and
  • job seekers earning more income on top of their welfare payments.

There will be an immediate relationship between payments and attendance in activities. CDP providers will be responsible for paying job seekers their income support weekly.

Providers will investigate job seeker non-compliance and make decisions under a clear, robust and transparent framework.

To promote better job seeker attendance and engagement in CDP activities, providers will be able to deduct income support from each job seeker for each hour they do not attend CDP activities.

Remote job seekers will also be able to earn up to the minimum wage and maintain full access to income support. Up to this point, job seekers will receive income support based on the hours of attendance in CDP activities.

Eligibility requirements, types of payment and payment levels for different groups of people will stay the same.

The Department of Human Services will continue to assess whether people should be on income support and how much they are eligible for.
Income management and the welfare debit card trials will continue to be delivered by the Department of Human Services and will remain unchanged.

Roll out of the reforms

The implementation plan of the proposed changes would be rolled out where:

  • there are capable CDP service providers with strong community connections.
  • for the first six months  where service providers and communities are ready, initially in around four regions.

 The Government will work with providers and communities to ensure they have the resources they need to administer the proposed new arrangements.

Legislation and next steps

The legislation will need to be debated and passed by the Parliament.

Case study –Applying more immediate compliance arrangements for non-compliance*

Jayne is a remote job seeker with 25 hours of mutual obligation commitments per week.

In consultation with her CDP provider, Jayne has committed to undertake the following CDP activities to make up her 25 hours:

  • a language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) course for five hours a week;
  • a CDP market garden activity for 15 hours a week; and
  • footy coaching the local under 9s Aussie Rules team for five hours a week.

Jayne is happy because her mutual obligation commitments are diverse and she is gaining skills in a range of interesting activities that contribute to her community.

During the week of the local show, Jayne decides to go to the show with friends to ride the roller-coaster instead of attending her footy coaching activity that week. Jayne did not seek prior permission from her CDP provider to not attend her scheduled activity.

Jayne’s provider calls her immediately to follow up on her absence and finds she did not have a good excuse for not attending her CDP activity. The provider determines that Jayne should not receive payment for the time she missed and her next pay is reduced.

Because Jayne’s pay is reduced straight away, this encourages her to resume all her activities for 25 hours the following week and her pay returns to normal.

* subject to the passage of the legislation and an associated  legislative instrument.

Consultations on the changes to the Community Development Program

Written submissions on the CDP consultation paper closed at 5:00pm (EST) on 4 May 2016. For any further information in regards to the CDP reforms visit CDP Consultation

To find out more about the CDP

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