Australian government to pay over $1 million to Aboriginal people for 'racist' programme

WION Web Team
Sydney, Australia Published: Dec 23, 2021, 03:45 PM(IST)

In this file photo, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison can be seen addressing a public conference Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Community Development Programme is a  'work for the dole' scheme that was supposed to provide work to 30,000 people for almost 25 hours a week

The Australian government is going to pay more than $1 million to Aboriginal people for a 'racist' programme.

The Community Development Programme is a  "work for the dole" scheme that was supposed to provide work to 30,000 people for almost 25 hours a week.

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Critics have condemned it as ''modern day slavery'' as they were only getting paid A$10 per hour. This is just half of the national minimum wage.

Locals had to travel over 1,000 km to the nearest centres to represent themselves at a welfare office as per Damien McLean, president of the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

The government has been sued by a group representing 680 people in 10 communities in Western Australia.

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The council “represents the interests of around 2,000 Ngaanyatjarra, Pintupi, and Pitjantjatjara Traditional Owners (Yarnangu) who reside in the Ngaanyatjarra Communities” as per the court.

“For communities with high costs of living and high levels of poverty, it was very difficult, very stressful,” McLean said.

“That’s why we’re glad the commonwealth has had a good look at it and seen the problems it is causing,” he added.

The programme was introduced in 2015 and over 80 per cent of beneficiaries were Aboriginals in Australia.

(With inputs from agencies)

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