Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Prime Minister’s 2004 Community Business Award Winner Boosts People with Disabilities and the Environment in Tasmania

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today congratulated a Tasmanian partnership for winning an Encouragement Award as part of the 2004 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships for Tasmania.

The partnership between Collex Pty Ltd and Oak Enterprises (Walkabout Industries) has been recognised in the medium business category of the awards, for operating waste paper collections and shredding services for the past 10 years.

Oak Enterprises received Australian Government funding to provide jobs for people with disabilities and, as Walkabout Industries, it has provided waste management services including shredding and recycling. It has now expanded into the production and sales of mulches, solvents and cleaning products.

“The Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnerships Awards were introduced to encourage these sorts of results. The partnerships enable business and community sectors to achieve mutual goals, develop solutions to local and regional problems and most importantly, strengthen community ties,” Senator Patterson said.

Both partners have provided specialist equipment and Collex has also provided knowledge and expertise to help Walkabout ensure that its workplace is safe and efficient.

Collex has also provided training and mentoring to Walkabout staff and buys shredded paper product from Walkabout for resale to national and international paper mills.

The partnership’s focus on recycling has produced many benefits to the community and the environment including reduced landfill and use of primary resources as well as waste reduction. The partnership has also provided meaningful employment to people with disabilities, which has eased the burden on government services and improved staff morale for both enterprises.

“Both Collex and Walkabout has benefited from a higher public profile, knowledge sharing with their business partner, increased income flow and material for production as well as improved staff morale.”