On 22 March 2017, the following matter was referred to the Senate
Finance and Public Administration References Committee (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
- 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
- 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
- alternative approaches to addressing joblessness and
community development in remote Indigenous communities; and
- any other related matters.
The Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 14 December 2017.
Conduct of the inquiry
The inquiry was advertised on the committee website. The committee
invited submissions from individuals and organisations by 9 June 2017. The
committee received 47 submissions. Submissions received by the committee are
listed at Appendix 1.
The committee held public hearings in Kalgoorlie on 23 August 2017;
Alice Springs on 28 August 2017; Canberra on 8 September 2017; Palm Island on 4 October 2017;
and Townsville on 4 October 2017. A list of the witnesses who gave evidence at
the public hearings is available at Appendix 2.
The committee also conducted site visits in Alice Springs on 28 August
2017, Papunya on 29 August 2017, and Palm Island on 4 October 2017. Summaries
of the site visits can be found in Appendix 3.
Submissions, additional information and the Hansard transcript of
evidence may be accessed through the committee website at: www.aph.gov.au/senate_fpa.
The committee thanks those who made submissions to the inquiry and
appeared as witnesses at hearings. The committee thanks Tangentyere Council,
Tangentyere Employment and Tangentyere Constructions for hosting site visits to
its facilities in Alice Springs. The committee also thanks the community of
Papunya and the Ngurratjuta/Pmara Ntjarra Aboriginal Corporation for hosting
the committee's visit to the Papunya community. The committee thanks the
community of Palm Island and Campbell Page for hosting a site visit on Palm
Island. Finally, the committee extends its sincere gratitude to participants
and residents in these communities who warmly invited the committee into their
workplaces and communities, and shared their stories.
During the 44th Parliament, the Senate Finance and Public Administration
Legislation Committee undertook an inquiry into the Social
Security Legislation Amendment (Community Development Program) Bill 2015.
The committee reported on 2 March 2016. The bill lapsed at the dissolution of
the Parliament on 9 May 2016.
Structure of the report
Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter which outlines the context and
administrative details of the inquiry. The remainder of the report is
structured as follows:
Chapter 2 provides the context and background for the Australian
Chapter 3 focuses on the nature and underlying causes of
joblessness in remote communities.
Chapter 4 looks at the impacts of the CDP on individuals and
Chapter 5 examines the impacts of the CDP on providers contracted
to provide CDP.
Chapter 6 explores alternative approaches for a future remote
jobseeker employment program.
Chapter 7 draws together the committee's conclusions and
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