Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Australian Disability Enterprises showcase products and services

Thirty Australian Disability Enterprises from across Australia gathered in Brisbane today to showcase their products and services to potential customers.

Opening the third Australian Disability Enterprise Expo at the Brisbane Convention Centre, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, encouraged the commercial and government sectors to utilise the services of disability enterprises.

“Australian Disability Enterprises give people with disability the chance to participate in work, to experience the sense of fulfilment and satisfaction that employment offers including meeting 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.

Senator McLucas praised the sector’s peak body, National Disability Services (NDS) for their work in supporting the marketing of Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

“Today’s Expo is part of a broader marketing campaign spearheaded by NDS to expand the range of products and services ADEs deliver to Government and to the community,” she said.

In recent years, the Australian Government has made significant changes to ensure that it can increase its purchasing of products and services from Australian Disability Enterprises.

“I want to encourage all levels of government as well as the commercial sector to support these competitive business enterprises,” Senator McLucas said.

“By engaging disability enterprises, government and business are not only advancing the cause for community inclusion of people with disability, they are also making smart business decisions by procuring from competitively priced businesses.”

Australian Disability Enterprises are competitive businesses, partly funded by the Australian Government, employing around 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability across Australia.

The Australian Government is working with an Advisory Group of disability sector representatives and employers to develop a ten year vision for supported employment in Australia, which will be released later this year.