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Tears, questions of how workers have come to terms with the closure of Activ warehouses


“In order for Activ to implement this policy the way they did, it turned out to be one horrible thing: they didn’t communicate with their employees, they don’t understand what it will do with the employee.

“When people with disabilities go to work in the ordinary world, there may be one person with whom they can communicate, they are the only ones with disabilities, and it’s incredibly isolated.”

Perth’s mother Dee Peacock agreed, saying her daughter Courtney, 27, with Down Syndrome, worked at Activ after graduating from high school.

“It’s a pretty dirty job, but it’s not so much about work, not about how much they get paid, but about feeling valuable, having a place to go to work and finding a base of friendship,” she said.

“Friendships made at work usually grow into other social events.

“Courtney was in tears when she learned of the closure because it’s such a big part of her life.”


Activ CEO Michael Heath argued that the closure was necessary to shut down the organization with significant losses.

“If we did not make this decision, which we made today, then by 2023 Activ will not be at all, and we serve 2,000 customers with disabilities in various fields,” he told Radio 6PR.

“We have discussed with both the federal government and the state government what the consequences will be if we fail to get increased funding and none of them are willing to nominate anything.

“If you face a loss of $ 500,000 a month, you just can’t keep going.”

Allegations that the nonprofit was operating at a loss of $ 6.5 million a year stunned parents who are contributing thousands of dollars to NDIS funding for Activ so that their child earns about $ 2.50 an hour.

Ms. Fedele said her son Luke earned $ 116 a month for 40 hours of work, while his NDIS funding paid Activ $ 1,200 to support his employment during that period.

Financial reports show that Activ’s total revenue increased from $ 95 million in 2015 to $ 135 million in 2021, and the transition to NDIS funding within the federal government will take place between 2018 and 2020.

Last fiscal year, the organization recorded a surplus of $ 11 million.

Prime Minister Mark McGowan said he was a strong supporter of Activ, and called on the federal government after the election to make reviewing the organization’s funding a top priority.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanez described the closure as a problem caused by the Morrison government’s reduction of NDIS, but NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds denied the cut and said WA funding was at a “record high”, showing $ 2.7 billion invested in 2020-21. .

Reynolds said the decision to quit supported employment was an Activ business decision.


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