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Minister visits local disability business services.

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Media Release

THE HON JOHN COBB MP Minister for Community Services Member for Parkes

Friday, 28 July 2006

Minister visits local disability business services

The Minister for Community Services, John Cobb, today visited four business services providing employment opportunities to over 60 people with disability in Warracknabeal and Horsham.

“Today I visited Woodbine Adult Services which offers employment to 21 employees in its gardening and mowing services, as well as commercial and domestic cleaning in the Warracknabeal community,” Mr Cobb said.

“Not only does the Australian Government support Woodbine Adult Service, it also provides funding to another local service, the Warracknabeal Laundromat, which offers employment to an additional six people with disability.

“In 2006-07, the services will receive $335,000 in total under the Australian Government's Disability Employment Assistance Programme, which includes $60,000 in recognition of the additional cost of providing this service in a rural area.

“Woodbine will also benefit from $42,000 in special assistance provided by the Australian Government to improve its business viability.

“I together with the member for Mallee, John Forrest also visited the Karkana business services in Horsham, which supports 35 people to participate in growing, harvesting, processing, packaging and selling fruit and vegetables.

“This financial year, the Australian Government will provide Karkana with $350,000 in funding under the Disability Employment Assistance Programme. An additional $13,500 has recently been provided for business equipment, air conditioning and consultancy advice.

“The Wimmera Wool Factory in Horsham is another business service which provides opportunities for local people with disabilities through the management of up to 1000 sheep, selling of woollen and lanoline-based products, as well as the manufacture of wood products.

“Under the Disability Employment Assistance Program, the Wool Factory will receive $310 000 in funding, an increase of $80 000 from last year,” Mr Cobb said.

“These services are all excellent examples of the variety of employment opportunities available to people with disability in the Warracknabeal and Horsham communities,” Mr Forrest said.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting the disability employment sector so they can prosper in a competitive and dynamic market place,” Mr Cobb said.

Contact: Tom Chesson 0418 41 5597