The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

11.2.1 Cape York welfare reforms - overview


Cape York Welfare Reform is delivered in the Cape York communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale, Mossman Gorge and Doomadgee, and associated outstations.

The Reform is a partnership between the communities, the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership.


The Cape York Welfare Reform Measure aims to create incentives for individuals to engage in the real economy, reduce passivity and re-establish positive social norms.

Under the reforms, an independent statutory body called the Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC) has been established to help rebuild social norms in the Cape York Welfare Reform communities. In 2014, the FRC was expanded to the Gulf community of Doomadgee. The FRC will send a consistent message about the expected behaviour of individuals, families and households and will determine appropriate actions to address dysfunctional behaviour. These may include referring individuals to support services and possibly income management as directed by the FRC.

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