Many people have been searching for the reasons behind John Howard’s abolition of the C.D.E.P programs. None was given when it was announced as part of the NT Emergency Response. It has been assumed that it was done, in part, so that 50% of people's income could be "quarantined", something that could not be done with wages, but only with Centrelink payments.

But as a measure to protect children against child s-xual assault, it makes no sense at all. Until recently, C.D.E.P programs employed 8000 of the 15,300 Indigenous people employed in the Northern Territory. Although 1655 -- 2000 "real jobs" were promised in place of the lost C.D.E.P jobs, that leaves more than 6000 Indigenous people potentially thrown out of work, or nearly 40% of the working population. Almost every study of child s-xual abuse states that high levels of unemployment are one of the main structural causes of increased levels of child s-xual abuse in communities.