Labor’s plans to abolish the CDP and return to the misery and harm of sit-down money, without consultation, will decimate remote communities across Australia.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said it was irresponsible for Labor to announce plans to abolish the CDP without detailing exactly what they will replace it with and how much it will cost.

Linda Burney and Pat Dodson talk about the importance of consultation with Indigenous Australians but they never practice what they preach.

Can Linda Burney even name one remote community or CDP provider that she has talked to about her changes that will have a massive impact on the lives of men, women and children in remote Australia.

Remote Indigenous communities and Indigenous owned CDP providers are entitled to know what Labor has in store for them well in advance of the election.

  • Will the Indigenous CDP providers be sacked so Labor can once again fund the multi-national employment companies like it did under RJCP?
  • Will there be any requirements for mutual obligation for job seekers or will it be a return to passive welfare?
  • Will there be any support for real jobs or will Labor just pay wages for unemployed Australians in remote communities without any requirement to work or train?

Labor have had six hopeless years in opposition to formulate its remote job seeker policy yet they have nothing more than thought bubbles and uncosted ideas to show for it.

The Coalition has delivered great results under the CDP – we have re-engaged job seekers, created over 30,000 jobs and lifted participation from 7 per cent under Labor to reach over 74 per cent today – and we are reforming the CDP to go back to the former successful CDEP.

And we have co-designed these changes in partnership with remote communities.

We put forward legislation to create 6,000 new fully subsidised remote jobs yet Labor and the Greens opposed this.

So far all Labor has said is they will pay CDP participants real wages, which based on the minimum award wage which will cost the budget at least $1.4 billion in wages alone, but without any details at all as to what these jobs will actually be.

And Linda Burney has said that the cost of the new Labor program will be met within the existing resources of the CDP but that it was impossible to find out from me how much it cost.

Firstly, Linda Burney probably should have actually asked me before making such an accusation. Secondly, the cost is in the Budget Papers. Page 183 of 2018/19 Budget Paper No.2 said that the cost of the Community Development Program is $1.1 billion over four years.

This is an embarrassing gaffe from a politician who wants to be a Minister after the election.

Labor will say anything to win a vote but can’t be trusted to deliver for remote communities.