Queensland-based disability service provider FSG Australia, which has hundreds of clients on the Northern Rivers, told staff on Friday that the company is going into voluntary administration on June 30.
As Echonetdaily reported in March, the company flagged problems its annual report, saying that it recorded a $5.2 million loss of revenue last financial year, representing 7.6 per cent of gross income.
FSG describes itself as a ‘for-purpose community organisation offering a wide range of innovative services in the fields of disability, mental health, aged care, family and children’s services’.
It diversified beyond disability services, presumably in an effort to raise additional revenue, into a diverse range of social enterprise initiatives including: cafe, retail and co-working spaces; FSG Travel; a plant nursery; FSG Green Shop; packaging and selling environmentally friendly cleaning products; and The Rock Indoor Climbing Gym.
A spokesperson for the company told Echonetdaily that while administrators will not be appointed until June 30, arrangements were already in train with ‘a very large provider’ with a view to that organisation taking over ‘some of FSG’s clients’.
Echonetdaily understands this arrangement will include the company’s client’s on the Northern Rivers.
FSG CEO Vicki Batten, said in a statement, ‘FSG – like many organisations in our sector – has had to make large investment decisions to prepare for the NDIS, and despite our best efforts it has become clear that we cannot continue to deliver our high quality of support to our customers.
‘With this announcement, our priority now is to ensure our customers can transition to a new service provider with minimal disruption.
In addition, we will also provide support to our dedicated staff as they seek opportunities with other service providers.
Richmond MP Justine Elliot (Labor) confirmed wrote to social services minister Dan Tehan on Friday to request the government ensure staff and customers are no worse off as a result of the collapse.
‘No one should fall through the cracks and we need the National Disability Insurance Agency here, on the ground today, to ensure continuity of service to all those affected,’ she wrote.
‘I call on the Turnbull Government to provide guarantees to affected participants and provide extra resources on the ground to support participants and workers face-to-face,’ Ms Elliot added.
Ms Batten said it was ‘an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved in FSG Australia – staff and customers alike. Amongst this turmoil, however, I would like to reaffirm our support for the NDIS in Australia. While FSG Australia will no longer be a part of this important social change, we wholeheartedly support it and know many Australians, including FSG’s customers, will benefit enormously from its introduction.’