The Community Development Programme (CDP)

The Community Development Programme (CDP) commenced on 1 July 2015 and is our remote employment and community development service. The CDP supports job seekers in remote Australia to build skills, address barriers and contribute to their communities through a range of flexible activities. It is designed around the unique social and labour market conditions found in remote Australia and is an essential part of the Australian Government’s agenda for increasing employment and breaking the cycle of welfare dependency.

The CDP is flexible and focused on local decision making and local solutions. Under the CDP, job seekers with activity requirements are expected to do up to 25 hours per week of work-like activities that benefit their community. The CDP offers a broad range of flexible activities to not only increase job seekers’ skills but also contribute to their community. 

Song credit: AWI – written and performed by B2M (Bathurst to Melville)


Providers work with remote job seekers to ensure activities are meeting their needs and aspirations. They continue to work with remote communities to increase the number and range of activities available. They are also promoting these opportunities to the CDP participants while helping them to understand what they need to do to continue receiving income support.

The CDP participants in remote Australia receive personalised assistance from their provider to help build their skills, get a job and to participate to their maximum capacity. Job seekers can undertake formal training, with the opportunity to gain qualifications, or foundational skills training, including language, literacy and numeracy and driver’s training, as part of their activity requirement. Job seekers can also gain up to six months of work experience in a real workplace.

The CDP is working to engage remote job seekers into work and activities that benefit them and their communities. Since its introduction, the CDP has supported job seekers into thousands of jobs. Job seeker participation and engagement has also grown significantly since the start of the program.

Key Dates

On 9 May 2017 the Government announced it will be undertaking a consultation process in the coming months on a new employment and participation model for remote Australia. To provide time for this consultation, the CDP has been excluded from most of the income support changes announced in the 2017-18 Budget. This will give the Government time to work out, with communities, an ideal remote employment service and what will work best on the ground. In the meantime, current arrangements will continue. Further details on the consultation process will be available shortly. For more information on the changes announced see the Minister’s Media release and fact sheet.

On 2 December 2015, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs introduced the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Community Development Program) Bill 2015 in the Senate to change remote income support and compliance arrangements. This legislation lapsed when the Parliament was dissolved on 9 May 2016. 

Where the programme operates

The CDP covers 75 percent of Australia’s land mass including over 1,000 communities.  It is supporting around 35,000 people, of which 83 per cent identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Local service providers deliver the programme and act as the single point of contact for job seekers, employers and host organisations in each community. Two thirds of CDP providers are Indigenous organisations.

To find the contact details of the provider in your local area, you can use the Australian Government’s Jobsearch tool, which allows you to enter your town or postcode.

For further information about CDP regions and providers see relevant factsheets.

More information

  • For enquires about the CDP in your region, contact the provider in your region or the PM&C Regional Network.
  • For general enquires about the CDP please email
  • You can contact the Employment Services Information Line (ESIL) 13 62 68 for general information on employment services and the CDP.
  • The Department of Employment’s National Customer Service Line (NCSL) 1800 805 260 can help with questions about jobactive, the Government's employment services programme that operates outside remote Australia.
  • For general enquires or feedback about the changes to remote employment services, email: Complaints can be sent to

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