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You are here: Home / Our Community / Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) / Cut to Indigenous Employment Services A Backward Step

Cut to Indigenous Employment Services A Backward Step

The following Media Release was issued by Senator Chris Evans Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services on 6 November 2006 in response to the Federal Government’s Announcement to abolish CDEP in urban areas.

The announcement today that the Howard Government will abolish Indigenous-specific employment services in urban areas is a backwards step.

It also defies assurances by the Government that it was not seeking to repeat history by simply cutting Indigenous services under the guise of 'mainstreaming'.

Everyone recognises the disadvantage faced by Indigenous Australians, living in both rural and urban areas, particularly when it comes to economic participation. The services to be cut recognise and attempt to address the many causes that contribute to these problems.

Labor acknowledges that CDEP can be improved, but to simply take away those services will deny vital social support for some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in urban areas.

The Indigenous employment Centres, also on the chopping board, enabled CDEPs to tap into Job Network incentive payment scheme while still supporting culturally-appropriate service.

These cuts to services come despite growing rates of unemployment amongst Indigenous Australians in urban areas.

Despite claims from the Howard Government that it is "committed to maintaining the funding for indigenous-specific programs", we are again seeing indigenous services being abolished.

This policy-making approach embodies everything Labor wants to avoid: it's unilateral, ad hoc, ideological, and lacking a transparent evidence-base.