Upper Crust Normanhurst (UCN) is a café and catering business located in Normanhurst, NSW. It has been providing employment for workers with developmental disabilities (predominately intellectual) and their support workers since 1986 (officially opened by the late Hazel Hawke in 1988).
On June 13th 2013, House with No Steps (HWNS) announced it will close Upper Crust Normanhurst on 2nd August 2013.
We need to keep Upper Crust Normanhurst open by severing the relationship with HWNS so that the business can be transferred to another Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE). HWNS must also be compelled to return the real estate and property to Werrigal Inc for the same amount it was acquired.
If HWNS closes Upper Crust Normanhurst, people with disabilities will lose their jobs and be made redundant. The Upper Crust Normanhurst employees are already upset and stressed by the news. These people love their jobs and are not trained to do any other sort of work. Their disabilities mean that retraining is a far from easy proposition. Additionally, it is highly unlikely these employees will be able to find another job in a location they can travel to independently as they can to UCN. There are long term workers of Upper Crust Normanhurst - one worker has been there for 25 years! Their parent/carers, already burdened with the care of individuals with disabilities, will be further stressed by the loss of these individuals’ meaningful employment.
If HWNS successfully closes Upper Crust Normanhurst, they will acquire the valuable asset of the real estate and property where UCN is located. HWNS’s involvement with Upper Crust Normanhurst commenced in 2006 as a result of governmental policy changes (Howard government disability reforms). Up until 2006, Werrigal Inc., a registered charity comprised of parents of the employees with disabilities, successfully managed Upper Crust Normanhurst for almost 20 years. It is important to note that HWNS acquired the real estate where Upper Crust Normanhurst is located for the outstanding mortgage of $74 000 (for a commercial property valued at approximately $750 000 in 2006). Further, HWNS would only agree to the “merger” if they acquired the real estate and property associated with Upper Crust Normanhurst. This real estate and property includes an industrial kitchen, furniture, and vehicle. HWNS were supposed to ensure ongoing jobs for people with disabilities in the Hornsby local government area.
In 2011, HWNS tried to close Upper Crust Normanhurst. HWNS’s attempt to close Upper Crust Normanhurst occurred as soon as the contract HWNS had formulated allowed them to sell the commercial real estate. The closure of Upper Crust Normanhurst in 2011 was halted by the efforts of Werrigal Inc combined with mainstream media coverage and public outrage at HWNS.
We need your help and support to:
1. Transfer the management of Upper Crust Normanhurst to another Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE). Note that the Department of Families, Housing & Community Services & Indigenous Affairs (FaHSCIA) have been consulted with and believe this is possible – but we need your support! This will ensure ongoing employment for people with disabilities at Upper Crust Normanhurst.
2. Ensure HWNS returns the real estate and property (including fittings, vehicle etc.) where Upper Crust Normanhurst is located, to Werrigal Inc. Werrigal Inc. will ensure the real estate and property is continued to be used as a workplace for people with disabilities.
3. No further involvement with HWNS is wanted!
Please go to the facebook website page https://www.facebook.com/saveuppercrustnormanhurst for updates and more information.