The ACTU and broader union movement welcomes the record number of First Nations parliamentarians in the 47th Parliament, and calls upon the Federal Government to take this opportunity to further the progress of First Nations workers.

The union movement calls for:

  • Meaningful consultation with elders and community members on Country – with the purpose of creating a replacement program for the Community Development Program (CDP) that adequately addresses the employment crisis in remote communities.
  • The creation of meaningful, safe and adequately paid jobs on Country. This includes ensuring decent workplace conditions, Workcover and workers’ compensation, and superannuation.
  • Any employment program must lead to permanent employment.

The union movement will also unequivocally support a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Indigenous Officer Lara Watson:

“This diverse parliament is an opportunity for positive changes and gives us a chance to begin addressing the injustices faced by First Nations workers.

“The CDP was a racist, punitive job program that clearly targeted Indigenous communities. It is time to bin it and replace it with something fit-for-purpose and led by communities.

“The former Morrison Government extended the CDP in its current iteration until 2024, and we need to make sure that that doesn’t remain the case.”