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Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

‘Fine’ refurbishment for Flagstaff Wollongong

Funding from the Australian Government has allowed a major employer of people with a disability in the Illawarra region to expand its business, Minister for Community Services Senator Nigel Scullion said today.

Speaking at the official opening of the newly refurbished Fine Foods Flagstaff building in Unanderra, Senator Scullion said the business provides supported employment for 146 people with a disability.

‘The Australian Government has committed $220 000 to the Flagstaff Group to refurbish and purchase equipment for the building, which will operate as a Fine Food outlet,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘The business provides between 30 000 and 35 000 meals each month to the community through Meals on Wheels.

‘The newly refurbished building will allow for further local employment opportunities for people with a disability and I congratulate Flagstaff for their commitment to the Illawarra community,’ Senator Scullion said.

Flagstaff CEO, Steve Beard said he is excited about the opportunities for expansion in this business. The new facility more than doubles the previous capacity of the business and equipment purchased with the funding has greatly increased the speed of production.

The business has Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) accreditation, a food safety management system that is internationally recognised. The new facility has already been subject to audit with a successful report resulting.

‘The Flagstaff Group is all about people with disabilities getting the opportunity to undertake meaningful employment in a safe and appropriately resourced work environment, and this new facility meets our criteria exceptionally well,’ Steve Beard said.

Senator Scullion said the Flagstaff Group also receives funding to provide employment opportunities for people with a disability in their other business ventures including a Commercial Laundry, Engineering Workshop, Paper Recycling Business, Print and Mail division and Plant Nursery.

‘The Australian Government committed a total of over $514 000 to the Flagstaff Group through its Business Services Assistance Package, aimed at improving the viability and productivity of the service.