BALLARAT disability employment organisation Finding Futures has begun talks with new service providers after losing federal government funding.
Finding Futures chief executive officer Bryan McCormick said the organisation had received strong community support following the shock decision yesterday and that discussions on staff employment and project transitions were in very early stages.
“People are very sad, as you can imagine, but there has been an enormous show of support from all the various organisations we work with,” he said.
“Our board is quite clear that they want the clients with disabilities we work with to get a good outcome so I have been speaking with the winning tenderers.”
Mr McCormick said Ballarat MP Catherine King had expressed her support for the organisation.
Yesterday The Courier reported Finding Futures had been unsuccessful in tendering for federal government funding in the competitive disability employment services round, despite 20 years in the community.
The new service providers announced by the government this week are Western District Employment Access and Community AXIS.
Mr McCormick said programs including the Doveton Street Futures Coffeehouse, Futures Christmas Tree Farm and Futures Property Services could be closed from March 2013 when current funding expires.
Sovereign Hill chief executive officer Jeremy Johnson described the decision as “a tragedy”.
“I can’t believe Finding Futures have lost their funding. It is a disaster for the organisation and for Ballarat,” he said.
“Sovereign Hill has been helped greatly by programs and individuals we partner with Finding Futures. I can’t believe the government could cut funding to an organisation like Finding Futures at this time.”