The Edge

SYN Nation

Work For The Dole – Is It Driving Aboriginal People Into Poverty?


The Community Development Program or CDP is the Government’s work for the dole scheme for remote areas. In it, participants are required to work or undertake training for their welfare payments or face penalties. The scheme makes participants work 25 hours a week, and those that don’t comply may be docked $50 per day or have their payments suspended for 8 weeks.

Many people in the Fitzroy Valley are CDP participants, with only 28% of Fitzroy Crossing’s 1,297 people in employment at the 2016 Census. 

The Fitzroy Valley, which is administered by Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation has the second lowest rate for the Kimberley and one of the lowest with a majority of Aboriginal participants with a total of 3,417 penalties handed out in 2017, or an average of 4.3 per participant.

CDP has 60 regions covering most of Australia’s land mass, and participants were issued penalties an estimated six times each on average last year.

More by The Edge


June Oscar on Kimberley Youth Suicide Crisis

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar has called on Government to implement all the recomendations by the coroner, […]


Undermined – New Kimberley Documentary

Award-winning director Nicholas Wrathall investigates the true costs of development in the world-famous Kimberley, where mega-mining and pastoral developments threaten not just […]


WA Law Society Joins Calls For Traditional Law

The Law Society of Western Australia has backed a move by Member for Kimberley, Josie Farrer to re-introduce Traditional Customary Law into […]