DISABILITY service Wallara wants state election candidates to commit to providing $750,000 for a “jobs hub” project based at Sages Cottage Farm, Baxter.
However, the project can only reach fruition if the money is matched by the federal government.
Liberal Finders MP Zoe McKenzie promised the farm $750,000 in the lead-up to the May federal election, but she is now in opposition, not government.
CEO Phil Hayes-Brown says the future of jobs for people with predominantly intellectual disabilities on the Mornington Peninsula is in limbo unless the state and federal governments match McKenzie’s campaign commitment.
Hayes-Brown says Sages Cottage Farm has not received government money and has spent more than $2 million from its own reserves and from donors.
Hayes-Brown, who has a daughter with intellectual disability, says the Jobs Hub building project will enable Wallara to: provide 50 more training places at the farm; increase the number of visitors and community groups to the farm; use the cottage as a gift shop; and recognise and highlight other employers who are hiring graduates from the farm to inspire others to follow.
“This is how we increase disability participation in the workforce and normalise disability,” Hayes-Brown said.
“The jobs hub project will double our reach and impact.
“We are calling for both major party candidates in the lead up to the state election to commit to endorsing this important project which will provide life changing opportunities to people with disabilities.”