Funding changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have forced Active to close its industrial worksites. Leaving 700 people with disabilities potentially out of work. Activ is Western Australia’s largest disability services provider.
Activ CEO Michael Heath said the closures were due to funding cuts to the federally funded NDIS.
In a statement to the ABC, Mr. Heath said he had spoken to both the state and federal governments but had not been able to secure any more funding to secure the jobs.
“That’s made it impossible for us to continue in our large-scale employment sites,” Mr. Heath said.
The Activ story
Activ was founded in 1951 by a passionate group of families who felt their children with disability were marginalised and unable to participate in wider society. Activ began its first large-scale industrial work site in 1957; it was a fantastic innovation, introducing new opportunities for people with disability to participate in employment, further their workplace skills, and socialise.
No time to transition.
In a statement Activ responded to why the changes are happening so quickly.
“We understand this announcement will be upsetting to many of our staff and supported employees. We would have liked to take more time with this transition. Unfortunately, we simply can’t afford to.
Changes to NDIS funding priorities and likely changes to the Supported Wage System have sped up this shift, making the continuation of large-scale work sites unsustainable. As a result of these policy changes, our large-scale work sites must close”
Because the shock announcement, hundreds of families have been left devastated—many relying on routine and stability across the six large industrial sites in
- Osborne Park;
- Kalgoorlie; and
Activ is working with supported employees. Along with their support coordinators, families, and carers to identify the options available to them – either within Activ or through services delivered by other providers. They can’t provide a definitive number until that consultation is finished. Within Activ, they are looking to develop opportunities for community-based work in smaller-ratio settings such as cleaning, maintenance, and gardening.
Activ will also offer their Academy offering, which will provide access to a range of personalised programs over shorter periods to develop essential life skills like employment training and using public transport, cooking, fitness, and using digital media.