Billabong Sweets Recognised For Role In Employing People With Disability

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20th July 2009, 05:29pm - Views: 680

People Employment Bill Shorten, Parliamentary Secretary For Disabilities 1 image

Media Contact:      Ben Ruse

0407 030 808

Media Statement


Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services and for

Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction

Monday, July 20, 2009

Billabong Sweets recognised for role in employing people

with disability

Successful Shepparton business the Billabong Sweets and Treats confectionery

factory, which employs 25 people with an intellectual disability, was officially opened

today by Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten.

The factory is run by GV Centre Business Services (GV Centre), an Australian

Disability Enterprise (ADE) which receives over $400,000 in funding each year to

employ 57 people with disability in the areas of gardening, flower delivery, school

canteen managing as well as confectionary.

Mr Shorten said the Australian Government had provided almost $100,000 to help fit-

out the factory.

“Having a job is an important part of a person’s identity and provides with the

opportunity to contribute to the community and develop friendships,” Mr Shorten said.

“People with disability deserve the same chance to be part of the workforce as the

rest of the community. The Rudd Government is determined to break down the

barriers which prevent this from happening.

“ADEs provide people with disability the opportunity to find a job and be supported by

their employers to reach their full potential.

“They are also thriving businesses that can compete in the open market.

“Billabong  Sweets shows how the Government and organisations can work together

to support people with disability while delivering quality products to the community.”

The GV Centre provides the only work facilities for people with intellectual disability in

the Goulburn Valley.

“I congratulate the GV Centre for their commitment to being a major employer of

people with disability in regional Victoria,” Mr Shorten said.

“They are making a real difference to the lives of people with disability and their


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