Release type: Media Release


Minister listens to locals on Indigenous employment programs

Joint Media Release with the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari

Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor today met with Indigenous elders in Garrthalala,in North East Arnhem Land and listened to feedback on planned reforms to Indigenous employment programs.

The Government has released a discussion paper IncreasingIndigenous Employment Opportunitywhich outlines changes to the Community Development Employment Program and Indigenous Employment Programs.

Mr O’Connor said it was important to hear from Indigenous community representatives and listen first-hand to their views on how to improve Indigenous employment programs.

”The Government has set a target of closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment within a decade,” Mr O’Connor said.

“But we know there needs to be greater linkages between Indigenous employment programs and the universal employment services.

“Indigenous employment programs must create opportunities and give Indigenous people the skills and training.

“The proposed reforms to CDEP and IEP are an important part of helping an extra 100,000 Indigenous Australians find and keep jobs over the next 10 years.”

The Government recognises that conditions differ greatly between remote and non-remote Australia and this requires new solutions tailored to local needs and local economies.

Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said more than 200 CDEP positions with Federal and State Government agencies have been identified as potential full-time jobs across the Northern Territory.

“The sports and recreation, education, municipal services, arts centre support, broadcasting, language, rangers, night patrols and land management sectors can and should be employing Indigenous staff,” Mr Snowdon said.

The proposed reforms to CDEP and IEP build on reforms to the Universal Employment Services which will begin on 1 July 2009. Consultation on the proposed CDEP and IEP reforms are scheduled in 57 locations around Australia. Written submissions on the proposed changes can be provided until 7 November 2008.