You are currently viewing WA’s work for dole-style community development program a hit for Goldfields resident

WA’s work for dole-style community development program a hit for Goldfields resident

Until last year, Brenton Madariaga hadn’t held a position for long.

The 27-year-old lives in the remote Goldfields town of Leonora, 830 kilometers northeast of Perth, where job opportunities are limited and complicated personal circumstances have left him dependent on Centrelink payments for most of his adult life.

But Mr Madariaga is a rare achievement in the federal government’s controversial Community Development Program (CDP), or cash-for-work program, which requires participants to perform up to 20 hours of work-like activities in order to receive Centrelink Payments .

There are around 400 jobseekers in Laverton and Leonora supported by the Waalitj Foundation, the organization contracted by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) to provide the CDP.

Since 2019, 90 people have been placed through Waalitj’s 35 employment partners, but Mr Madariaga is the first to stay on for a year.

Bianca Corciulo, community engagement manager for the Waalitj Foundation, said Mr Madariaga’s success was down to compatibility and the support of his employer.

Brenton Madariaga has worked at Minesite Recycling in Leonora for over a year, an uncommon achievement for CDP participants. (ABC Goldfields: Madison Snow )

Ms Corciulo says Mr Madariaga’s employers would pick him up from home if he couldn’t get to work and offer support when personal circumstances might prevent him from attending.

“With Brenton, I feel like the approach has been broader and he’s someone [who] From day one, I always wanted to work.”

Employer efforts are rewarded

But Mr. Madariaga is not just a rare achievement in his small town.

According to an NIAA spokesperson, of the approximately 40,000 CDP participants in remote Australia, 7,407 were placed into work between March 2021 and February 2022.

Leave a Reply