Barossa providing pathways for people with a disability

Stephan Knoll MP, Member for Schubert, has labelled Barossa Enterprises as one of the most pre-eminent organisations in his electorate in a speech to Parliament.

Mr Knoll, who sits on the Parliamentary Committee on Occupational Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation, will be hosting a tour of some of the regions workplaces, including Barossa Enterprises, Pernod Ricard and Vinpac in May.

“I was lucky enough to visit Barossa Enterprises late last year. They are committed to providing and securing opportunities for people with a disability to work and live within the community,” Mr Knoll said. “There is a strong pathway for people with a disability to attend the disability unit at Tanunda Primary School, then Nuriootpa High School and later gain employment with Barossa Enterprises.

“I was quite excited to tour the community garden, because I was in awe of what these guys were able to do compared to the meagre efforts of my wife and I in our garden. They grow so much fresh produce that they then try to use in the canteen.

“The biggest part of the business is 'woodwerx'. This is where the real employment opportunity is within Barossa Enterprises. These are beautiful pieces of art that are stamped and embossed, and they come in all manner of shapes and sizes, with hinges and finishes. To see the way these things are made is quite awe inspiring.

“As you walk around, you can see that this is not make work employment. These people are creating a beautiful product. They are competing in the marketplace on equal terms with other commercial businesses, and they are able to survive.

“The support of the Barossa wine community in supporting this business is fantastic. They are some of the biggest names in wine that you will see and hear about, from Henschke to Peter Lehmann. They also make wood pallets and crates that are used in the fruit and vegetable industry.

“These guys have pride in the work that they do and, also, their strong commitment to health and safety and strong commitment to producing quality articles is really quite inspiring and I would like to thank them very much for their work.

“I am extremely proud of my electorate and community for coming together and providing solid, strong pathways for people with a disability in my community, and I commend them for their efforts.”