Speech by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Opening of Fare Cravin’ coffee shop at Fairhaven Services with Lucy Wicks MP

Location: West Gosford

E & OE

Thank you so much Lucy for the invitation to be here. Those of you who know Lucy know that she is a force of nature. And those of us who are Ministers know if Lucy asks you to do something, you don’t treat it as a request, you treat it as an order. And you just say yes because it’ll save time. But that’s what you want in your local Member.

Can I acknowledge Jim, and through Jim his staff. And I know that when you get up in the morning, what you do, you see as far more than a job. Because you know that you’re making a contribution to help improve the quality of life of other people, and particularly through the employment opportunities that the organisation provides.

And Clive, the Chair, if I can acknowledge through you the Board members of the organisation who do it because they care about their community. They don’t do it for any personal benefit. And it’s a great quality and contribution that you and your Board team make.

And to the employees, most of all. It’s terrific to be here with you. I was over at the packaging facility before and it’s a hive of activity. And doing good work and providing good services to businesses in the community. So congratulations to you for all that you do.

This is actually a first for me today. I’ve been in the Parliament for 10 years, I’ve been a Minister for two years but this is my first coffee shop opening, which is terrific. And I’ve taken it very seriously. I’ve hit the airwaves on the radio stations on the Coast this morning, saying ‘if you need a good coffee, make sure you pop in to Fare Cravin’. So hopefully I’ve done my little bit to drum up business.

But it’s a great venture. I wish it all the success in the world. We are incredibly fortunate to have organisations such as this. That are so focussed on ensuring that people who have disability do have the opportunity for work. And an announcement that I’m making today with Lucy is that we’re going to be providing over the next three years $650 million for Australian Disability Enterprises to make sure that in the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, where money will follow the individual, we want to make sure that in the transition, Disability Enterprises have the certainty of funding for that period. So hopefully that will be well-received by Disability Enterprises.

I should mention, since I’m on the topic, that there are about 200 Disability Enterprises around the country, who provide employment for about 20,000 people. And as long as I’m the Minister, they will have a very strong defender in that area. But I think above all else today’s a day for celebration for a wonderful community business. And it gives me great pleasure to official declare open – Fare Cravin’.