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More funding for Connect GV

By James Bennett

ConnectGV is on the receiving end of government funding again this year after an announcement yesterday.

With a $2 million promise from the Federal Government looming, the disability service will now receive a $130 000 grant from the Victorian Government.

ConnectGV — in conjunction with The Bridge Youth Services, Primary Care Connect, and FamilyCare — will pilot its Workforce Connect project as a model for the NDIS.

ConnectGV has already committed $55 000 to the project, which will be used to help provide more NDIS staff in regional Victoria.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan visited the Billabong Garden Complex run by ConnectGV's supported employment program yesterday.

Mr Donnellan said the NDIS needs an extra 90 000 workers over the next five years.

"We know we have thin markets in regional Victoria," he said. "At the heart you need the skilled people to deliver the service and that's why ConnectGV and their team have received $130 000 to do the training, skills and build up the capacity."

Mr Donnellan said he was impressed by the gardening facility and what it provides for disabled people seeking work.

"I need no encouraging to go gardening; Carolynne and her team kindly offered me tomatoes," he joked.

"What a great environment to work in and a great facility to train people. What a great facility to give people the dignity to work and to be in control of their own lives."

Chief executive Carolynne Frost said she was "rapt" with the announcement.

"We've been working away as part of Shepparton Community Share for a little while, concentrating on workforce and what that means transitioning to the NDIS," she said.

"We needed some support and some project oversight in terms of how do we come together and share with, for us, four agencies within our local area.

"The money will be about unpacking the industrial relations and how we bring four agencies together in terms of recruitment, oversight and monitoring.

"It's also our training, development and training calendars for our support workers to ensure that we've got quality staff working with them around the area of community service.

"For people with disabilities to actually say 'I'm earning my own money, I'm in control of my life and not being told what to do every day', that's really what this place does."

Australian Primary Mental Health Alliance also received a grant of the same value.

The money will help establish a mental health recovery hub, providing mental health, allied health and general practice services for those with psychosocial disability.

More stories on ConnectGV:

Coalition funding pledge to rebuild ConnectGV

ConnectGV funding is vital

Organisations join in for Shepparton Community Share project