Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Government delivers additional places to disability business services

Funding of $7 million will ensure the release of an additional 760 places to disability business services across Australia, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson announced today.

“As part of the Howard Government’s Disability Employment Assistance Program, business services which have reached full capacity will benefit greatly from the allocation of 460 additional places, enabling them to expand their businesses and maintain the viability of the valuable services provided,” Senator Patterson said.

“In early 2006 the balance of 300 places will be made available through an open tender process to improve access to employment in new disability business services by Indigenous people with disability, people facing mental health issues, and people with disability in regional areas.

“The allocation of these additional places to disability business services recognises the tremendous effort of the disability business service sector and is a direct response to demand from jobseekers with moderate to profound disabilities for increased employment opportunities.

“People with disability have the same aspirations as all Australians – to pursue employment – and school leavers with disability will particularly welcome this opportunity to enter the workforce,” Senator Patterson said.

Of the services receiving places, the Australian Red Cross Society in Brisbane, Queensland, will use its allocation to establish a commercial cleaning enterprise.

The Greenacres Association in Wollongong, NSW, will use its allocated places to provide work and training opportunities for school leavers in light assembly, packaging and textiles.

This announcement follows on from the recent launch of, an online directory and catalogue of products and services of disability business services across Australia. There has also been an injection of $4 million in funding for services in rural and remote Australia in recognition of the unique challenges they face.

“The Howard Government will continue to support people with disability by creating employment opportunities and by facilitating the work of community services across Australia,” Senator Patterson said.