Government’s own evaluation of racist, remote work-for-the-dole program finds it is widening the gap

7 February 2019

The Federal Government’s own evaluation of the Community Development Program – the harsh work-for-the-dole program imposed on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities – reveals the shocking devastation it is causing.

“The report shows this racist, punitive program has left people with increased mental health problems, hunger and sleep deprivation,” CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, Cassandra Goldie, said.

“The program ignores the tragic realities of poverty. People are having their income support cut off because they have mental or physical health problems, limited online and phone access, no access to transport and lower education levels.

“The Government should join the Opposition and agree to abolish this discriminatory program that is widening the gap.

“We have a clear solution in the Fair Work model developed by Aboriginal-led organisations. We call on both major parties to commit to implementing this model so that local communities have control and are the drivers of reform,” Dr Goldie said.