Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Community and Business Getting Together

I am pleased to acknowledge the release of the report, ‘Mutual Benefit – Community and Business Getting Together’ that focuses on partnerships in the disability sector between not-for-profit organisations and business.

The report provides valuable information on partnership types existing in the disability sector and examines ways to promote the growth of partnerships.

It shows that people with disabilities and the wider community can really benefit from partnerships between business and community organisations.

The report is a useful follow-up to the McClure report ‘Participation Support for a More Equitable Society’, that recommended business work with government and communities and individuals to generate more opportunities for economic and social participation.

Many organisations in the disability sector will find the guidelines incorporated in the report extremely valuable when considering how to initiate and develop business partnerships.

The government is committed to the development and growth of productive business and community partnerships that will assist people to overcome barriers to participation.

The Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership has laid the foundations for creating practical partnerships between communities and businesses. The Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships are presented annually, and recognise achievements in this area.

The government has a long-term commitment to people with disabilities and wants to ensure that they are able to participate to the full extent of their abilities.

Currently the government pays about $8 billion in income support every year to people with disabilities and their carers. Around $393 million goes to specialist disability employment, rehabilitation and advocacy services each year.

The government will spend $177 million providing a better deal for people with disabilities as part of its Australians Working Together welfare reform package.

People with disabilities want the chance to have a go – with more support from the community and business organisations many more people with disabilities will get that chance.