Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Delivering work opportunities for people with disability on the Central Coast

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, and Member for Robertson, Deb O’Neill, today visited a Central Coast disability enterprise that provides 145 supported employment opportunities to local people with disability.

“Fairhaven Services plays an important role in the Central Coast community, delivering employment and training opportunities to local people with disability who otherwise may not have had that opportunity,” Senator McLucas said.

Fairhaven Services is an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE). ADEs are competitive businesses, employing around 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability across Australia. They are partly funded by the Australian Government to provide supported employment to people with significant disability who need substantial and ongoing on-the-job assistance.

Touring Fairhaven’s West Gosford facility, Senator McLucas and Ms O’Neill met with around thirty employees working in their packaging and laundry businesses.

“Fairhaven is a great example of an inclusive supported employer. They have a proven track record, operating on the Central Coast for nearly half a century, and I congratulate them on their continued commitment to improving the lives of people with disability in our community,” said Ms O’Neill.

The Gillard Government is committed to supporting people with disability into work wherever they are able.

Senator McLucas said more than $210 million is being invested this financial year to around 600 businesses across Australia which offer supported employment to those people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to work.

“Australian Disability Enterprises give people with disability the chance to participate in work, to experience the sense of purpose and camaraderie a workplace can provide the chance to meet new friends, and to become more financially independent.”

“At the same time, they provide a great range of products and services across a wide range of industries, including design, printing and packaging, manufacturing, laundry and landscaping at competitive prices,” Senator McLucas said.