Abstract: This paper updates an earlier article explaining the development of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme over the years since its inception in the mid 1970s. It does so under three headings: governmental and bureaucratic politics; Aboriginal community politics; and persistent unemployment. The paper recognises that while the CDEP scheme has expanded rapidly in recent years, reviews of it have frequently identified deep-seated unresolved issues. The paper attempts to explain this apparent paradox by identifying different types of policy analysis focusing on internal program issues and external forces and constituencies. It is the latter, not the former, which are seen as having been important in determining the expansion of the CDEP scheme.