Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

New AFFORD factory helping people with a disability

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today officially opened Minto Pallets, a specialist pallet manufacturing factory which currently employs 35 people with disabilities.

Senator Patterson said the factory is one of a number of successful businesses in Sydney operated by the Australian Foundation for Disability (AFFORD).

“AFFORD is the third largest independent pallet maker in Sydney and this new $2.5 million purpose-built plant has the capacity to produce 10,000 pallets each week,” Senator Patterson said.

“Staff at this factory produce wooden pallets which are used for the stacking and easy transport of manufactured goods across Australia. They also produce quality ‘specialty pallets’, such as wooden spools for transporting barbed wire and cables.

“Working under the care of eight qualified staff, the employees at the factory receive union negotiated wages and when fully operational the factory will provide jobs for up to 50 people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities often face many barriers when they try to participate in the labour force and the community. With funding assistance from both the Australian and State Governments, AFFORD helps these people with employment, accommodation and day program services.

“Operating for over 50 years, AFFORD is a not-for-profit organisation providing employment assistance services through outlets in the greater Western Sydney area, giving people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the workforce.

“It is a multi-faceted organisation and apart from their packaging industry, they also operates businesses in labour hire, mail collating, assembly and manufacturing.

“The Howard Government is committed to giving people with disabilities more opportunities to reach their full potential and make the most of their lives.”