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CEP sponsor contribution guidelines changed

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5 June 1984

The Federal Government is to revise guidelines under the Community Employment Program (CEP) to make it easier for local government and community organisations to sponsor projects.

The Federal Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Mr Ralph Willis, said today the new guidelines would reduce the minimum level of financial contribution required of local government and community organisations under

the program.

He said that when CEP was first introduced there was a requirement for all sponsors to bear a minimum of 30 per cent of project costs, with the Federal Government meeting the remaining 70 per cent.

"The Government has decided to reduce this minimum contribution to 20 per cent for local government and community organisations," Mr Willis said.

"The purpose of the original guidelines was to increase the funds available for job creation and to ensure that all major sections of the community and government accepted some responsibility for tackling unemployment.

The Government is still committed to this principle, but is conscious of the difficulties created for local government and community groups in raising a 30 per cent cash contribution.

Mr Willis said the major provisions of the new guidelines were:

. The minimum level of sponsor contributions to be reduced to 20 per cent for local governments and community organisations, but maintained at 30 per cent for State Government sponsors;

. Exemptions may be granted to- .community organisations which can demonstrate inability to contribute, but will not be available to State or local government authorities;

. More realistic provisions will be made for the use of bona-fide "non-cash" contributions by the sponsor with the proportion of non-cash contribution limited to a maximum of 10 per cent of the total project cost;

Parliament House, Canberra A.C.T. 2600 Telephone (062) 73 2136

Telex: 62286

1-2-466 March 83

. Sponsors will be required to ensure that 65 per cent of the Commonwealth grant received is spent on direct wage costs.

Mr Willis said that the amendments which had arisen out of consultation with State labour ministers, local government and community groups, should ensure the on-going success of the program.

"The government has always recognised the need to consider refinements to the program once it had been effectively established," he said.

"Sponsor contribution guidelines have ensured a substantial community contribution to the program but experience with CEP has indicated some scope for change."

The revised guidelines will apply from 1 July 1984.

Media contact: DEIR Public Relations (Bill Kelly) 062- 43 7426 062 - 47 8996 (after hours)