Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Supporting Australian Disability Enterprises

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

The Gillard Government will inject $59.6 million over four years into Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) in 2012-13, supporting more than 20,000 workers with disability across Australia.

This funding will help about 600 businesses, operated by 199 organisations, across Australia that provide supported employment opportunities for people with disability.

Protecting the community’s most vulnerable has been the number one priority of the Gillard Government from day one, and this important measure reflects that commitment.

ADEs provide meaningful work and training for people with a disability who need substantial ongoing support to maintain their employment. The people they employ are people who, without specialised support, might not be able to find and keep a job.

ADEs provide jobs in industries such as catering, gardening, building and packaging and make an important contribution to local communities and to the broader economy.

The Government’s investment will provide ongoing funding certainty for ADEs to help them better plan for the future.

Previously ADEs have received top-up funding on an ad-hoc, short-term basis. This ongoing investment will also give peace of mind to people with a disability who work in these businesses, their families and carers.

The ongoing funding commitment for ADEs follows the Government’s recent $3.1 million injection to help ADEs prepare for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will reform the way we deliver disability care and support across Australia.

The Government has released a 10-year vision for the future of supported employment, which will be a framework to help ADEs remain strong and sustainable through the transition to a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Gillard Government values the role of ADEs in supporting workforce participation for Australians with disability and helping them take part in economic life. We are committed to ensuring people with disability have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

This ongoing investment brings total Australian Government funding for ADEs to more than $210 million a year.