CEO of ON Q Lisa Smith pictured in their new office in Southport. Picture Mike Batterham
CEO of ON Q Lisa Smith pictured in their new office in Southport. Picture Mike Batterham

Shafted FSG staff thrown a lifeline

A GOLD Coast disability service provider is encouraging staff caught up in the FSG Australia shambles to join their expansion.

Southport-based not-for-profit On Q is doubling their workforce by opening 18 offices in southeast Queensland.

Led by CEO Lisa Smith, the charity focuses on finding employment for disabled members of the community.

CEO of ON Q Lisa Smith pictured in their new office in Southport. Picture Mike Batterham
CEO of ON Q Lisa Smith pictured in their new office in Southport. Picture Mike Batterham

"We have a number of positions open at the moment and we would encourage staff of FSG to jump on our website, have a look, pick up the phone and have a chat with us," she said.

"We're opening up 18 new offices between here and the Sunshine Coast.

"We'll be looking to double our workforce.

"It is a growth time in the industry for many organisations that deliver disability services and we are really excited by that."

On Q's offer comes a week after the collapse of Gold Coast-based FSG, leaving 900 staff in limbo.

Vicki Batten, FSG Australia. Picture: supplied.
Vicki Batten, FSG Australia. Picture: supplied.

Brisbane company CPL will become an independent partner of FSG, re-employing "many" but not all of the stranded staff.

FSG CEO Vicki Batten blamed the NDIS and government for the charity's failure despite the scheme not officially rolling out on the Gold Coast yet.

Ms Smith said On Q was not only ready for the NDIS, but excited for its arrival.

"We aren't afraid of the NDIS," Ms Smith said.

"Everything we read in the press about the NDIS is true. It hasn't been without issue, but fundamentally a client having choice and control about how they spend their funds is a real positive.

CEO of On Q Lisa Smith pictured in their new office in Southport. Picture Mike Batterham
CEO of On Q Lisa Smith pictured in their new office in Southport. Picture Mike Batterham

"It's not about providers making profit.

"An organisation like FSG - the NDIS hasn't even commenced here in full steam here on the Gold Coast - so certainly it's a different environment when you've gone from block funding from the government to giving the clients the power.

"It is a significant change."

Block funding, or receiving a lump sum of money from the government, will be a thing of the past for On Q from July 2 when their Commonwealth funding kicks in.

This means they will only be paid when they do their job - finding employment for people with a disability.

"Our funding is based on outcomes so that's really dependent on how we perform and how we get people into jobs," Ms Smith said.

"We're not funded unless we get a person into employment.

"The initial upfront costs are for us, we've had to have money in the bank to set up our offices and then come July 2 it's all about hitting the ground running with our marketing and making sure we're doing a really amazing job attracting clients.

"It's a user choice model and like any job if you're not performing you shouldn't be rewarded."