The Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme is an unusual labour market and social development program for Indigenous people. Currently the CDEP scheme employs around 36,000 Indigenous Australians and accounts for over one-quarter of total Indigenous employment. Despite the significance of the CDEP scheme, in recent times, relatively little attention has been given to the potential for the scheme to be used as an instrument for economic and social development in remote areas of Australia. This article present new evidence on the impact of the CDEP scheme on economic and social outcomes for Indigenous people in remote areas of Australia. It is concluded that the scheme has been successful in generating positive economic and community development outcomes at minimal cost to the Australian taxpayer.