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CDEP Changes: Gutless Approach, Missed Chances

The following Media Release was issued by The Hon Warren Snowdon MP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs on 6 November 2006 in response to the Federal Government’s Announcement to abolish CDEP in urban areas.

Member for Lingiari and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia and Indigenous Affairs Warren Snowdon said today’s announcement on CDEP highlighted the gutlessness of Federal Employment Minister Kevin Andrews.

Mr Snowdon said the Minister had only last week recognised CDEP participants from across Australia at the Jobs Career and Future Awards for outstanding performances.

‘Now he’s released a discussion paper for a proposal that will cut the throats of many of those same CDEPs,’ Mr Snowdon said.

‘About 20 per cent of all CDEP providers, with some 7000 participants, and all Indigenous Employment Centres will go.

‘Now why didn’t he have the guts to mention that in his effusive speech at last Thursday’s Awards ceremony?

‘As with its other recent moves in Indigenous policy, the Government has used a discussion paper to make its intentions clear while going through the motions of encouraging discussion on policy’.

‘Despite the pretence at consultation in the discussion paper, it will be very clear to many if not all of the CDEPs under threat that their fate is sealed’.

‘This Minister has missed the chance to foster a long overdue debate and that means he’s missed the chance to help CDEP meet the real needs of Indigenous people’.

‘He’s treating it as just a jobs program and he ignores the essential job it does for community development, no matter where in Australia it exists’.

‘This is no way to treat any Australian, let alone people who are working on CDEP,’ Mr Snowdon said.