The Rudd government is committed to a self-imposed and ambitious target of creating 100,000 new jobs for Indigenous Australians in the next ten years to halve the existing employment gap. As part of its employment creation strategy it has launched the next iteration of its proposed reforms to the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program. These reforms are couched broadly under the umbrella of the revamped and extremely complicated Universal Employment Services and the less complicated discussion paper Increasing Indigenous Economic Opportunity released on Tuesday.

The harsh reality masked by this complex proposed reform package of Indigenous employment programs is that from 31 March 2010 the CDEP program, a community-based employment creation and economic and community development program established in 1977, will disappear.