When CDEP started in the 1970s it went into communities …

Comment on Bush jobs for dole: 26 weeks, 25 hours per week by John Marsden.

When CDEP started in the 1970s it went into communities which agreed that everyone except pensioners would be part of the scheme, it was all in or nobody.
The effect of the policy was to give the local community control over the bulk of social security income, allowing those who work the most to get paid most and those who wanted to do nothing get paid little – a great success.
In well managed communities CDEP was great, but in the late 1980s government policy was changed as a cost saving measure to allow the scheme to be spread to urban centres – not a great success.
That policy change which reduced the number of people who could work for CDEP set up a structure where the dole competed with CDEP and those who didn’t want to contribute to the community could get the dole – a disaster in hindsight.
The scheme went downhill thereafter until we got to the very expensive and unsuccessful outsourced RJCP that has been universally condemned.
The arrangement just announced by Scullion is probably better than the way RJCP currently operates, but while it is outsourced to businesses managed outside the community it will fail to meet one of the first principles of management – take you customer with you.
The crisis facing remote communities is governance and insufficient attention is being given to improving it.
Whilst governments centralise the management of services in Canberra and Darwin, failing to engage on a professional level with remote Indigenous communities their policies and programs will continue to perform poorly.
The Federal government has dismantled its once competent field operations and no longer has to implement its policies whatever they might be.
And on a practical issue, if governments do make it too hard for Traditional Owners to live on country, how will the Territory cope with perhaps 30,000 people who are unlikely to be employed living on the outskirts of the major urban centres like Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs?
Getting Cranky.

Recent Comments by John Marsden

Elders appeal to respect sacred sites
To respond to “Difference”: There is very convincing data that demonstrates around the world that by reducing the supply of alcohol to people living in traditional hunter gatherer cultures reduces drinking to harmful levels.
The NT Government has never been serious about dealing with the issue because of the pressure from the alcohol lobby and voters that either don’t care or don’t understand the impact.
If you speak to the NT Police I think you will find that the policing of take away outlets which has impacted on supply has had a significant impact on drinking patterns.
And Walt’s bigoted comment about a consistent message: What traditional owners have been saying for at least 40 years, from my memory, is that it doesn’t matter who you are please respect Alice Springs when you visit, something all sane residents should want.
Its a simple message and I’m am surprised that Walt doesn’t blame Muslims as well.

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