The Albanese Labor Government has today announced that up to $17 million will be made available to support employment pathways – including funding infrastructure projects – in former cashless debit card communities.
A grant opportunity – Community-led Solutions Economic Development – will be formally opened for the funding pool. Organisations with relevant projects in Ceduna, Goldfields, East Kimberley and Cape York will be invited to apply.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the funding is a direct response to the meaningful community consultation the Government has held across communities where the transition away from the card is occurring.
This announcement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to listen to Indigenous and other community voices and respond to the immediate community priorities.
“We have been listening to former cashless debit card communities, and we are hearing them loud and clear,” Minister Rishworth said.
“This funding will meet the call for additional investment in shovel-ready infrastructure projects that provide ongoing and sustainable opportunities for training and employment.”
It is expected funding will be provided for capital projects, such as tourism and cultural centres, on-the-job training and any other employment opportunities that exist in the day-to-day operations of new infrastructure.
“Breaking the cycle of welfare dependency is critical, and we need to provide pathways to employment for people in their communities,” Minister Rishworth said.
Funding from the grant round is expected to be rolled out to communities in early 2023.
The Community-led Solutions Economic Development grant opportunity will be open to eligible applicants through GrantConnect from 9am Friday 25 November.
Further detail about the grant opportunity can be found at www.communitygrants.gov.au.
Those wanting information about transitioning off the cashless debit card can go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/debitcard or call the cashless debit card hotline on 1800 252 604.