On 22 March 2017 the following matter was referred to Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by 14 September 2017:
The appropriateness and effectiveness of the objectives, design, implementation and evaluation of the Community Development Program (CDP), with specific reference to:
- the adequacy of the policy process that led to the design of the CDP;
- the nature and underlying causes of joblessness in remote communities;
- the ability of the CDP to provide long-term solutions to joblessness, and to achieve social, economic and cultural outcomes that meet the needs and aspirations of remote Indigenous people;
- the impact of the CDP on the rights of participants and their communities, including the appropriateness of the payments and penalties systems;
- the funding of the CDP, including the use of unspent funds in the program;
- the extent of consultation and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the design and implementation of the CDP, and the role for local decision making within the program;
- alternative approaches to addressing joblessness and community development in remote Indigenous communities; and
- any other related matters.
Submission closing date is 9 June 2017. The report is due to be tabled on 14 September 2017. On 11 September 2017, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 15 November 2017. On 13 November 2017, the Committee was granted a further extension to 6 December 2017. On 4 December 2017, the Committee was granted a further extension to 14 December 2017.