Community Development Program Reforms Delivering for Indigenous Australians

Release Date: 
2 October 2019
Media release

Six months on from significant government reforms, the Community Development Program (CDP) is delivering better results for remote communities. 

The reform package—which commenced in March 2019—included greater flexibility, more local discretion and reduced participation requirements to make it easier for people to engage with the program. It also included the 1,000 Jobs Package, which will support the creation of 1,000 new jobs for CDP participants in remote Australia.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said early signs from the reform package were positive.

“These reforms were all about creating more jobs, improving engagement and reducing penalties—and we are delivering on all fronts,” Minister Wyatt said.

“These changes have had an immediate effect on penalties. The latest data released this week shows penalties have almost halved in just six months, after we empowered our providers to use more discretion in how they work with participants. This will build trust and positivity on both sides.

“Engagement is also up—the caseload has increased five per cent since January, to more than 30,000 participants.”

Minister Wyatt said early feedback from providers was also strong.

“It is still early days, but we are seeing strong results and hearing positive stories from our providers,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Our CDP providers are now almost all Indigenous owned or controlled. They work with local partners and they know their communities.”

Liam Flanagan, General Manager Community Services, Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, said the reforms we having a positive impact.

“The additional flexibility in the program has meant that Indigenous people are starting to see the benefits of the program and how it can work for them in meeting their own personal goals, business ideas, cultural needs, and lifestyles,” Mr Flanagan said.

Since the program commenced in July 2015, it has placed participants into over 34,000 jobs in 60 regions across remote Australia.

More information on the Community Development Program is available at

More information on the 1,000 Jobs Package is available at