MEMBERS of Cootharinga North Queensland have voted for two of Queensland’s largest specialist disability service providers, Cootharinga North Queensland and CPL – Choice, Passion, Life – to merge to achieve greater outcomes for people with a disability in regional Queensland.

Chair of Cootharinga Mr Rob Grant said he was pleased to advise that a clear majority of Cootharinga members voted in favour of the merger.

“We are thrilled our members have decided to progress to a merger with CPL,” Mr Grant said.

“With the passing of each of the four constitution resolutions voted on at our Extraordinary General Meeting in Townsville today, our members have, in the majority, approved the merger with CPL.

“The comprehensive due diligence process has clearly demonstrated that a merger between these two disability service providers will be in the best interests of all customers, staff and communities, and will deliver a boost in governance and training and will enhance the services available.

“Our members understand that the merger is designed to ensure the long-term viability of Cootharinga and ensure we can continue to deliver quality services under the Cootharinga banner to regional and remote communities for many years to come.

“This merger will enable us to continue to take a leadership role in the communities in which we operate, using our enhanced size to influence perceptions and change behaviours towards people with a disability.

“I would genuinely like to thank all our members who considered the proposal, especially those who had conversations with CEO Matt Kinnane, sent in questions, attended our February roadshow sessions and have used their voice to vote for a stronger future for Cootharinga with CPL.

“Our Board, our leadership team and our employees are excited about the value that this merger will create for our clients and local communities.

“With both disability service providers consistently delivering industry leading services, we look forward to working together to give our customers the best opportunity to live their full lives and for our employees to achieve the best outcomes possible for our customers.

“The merger will take effect on 1 July 2020, but it will be very much business as usual with little change in the day-to-day for customers or staff of each organisation,” he said.

CPL Chairman Bruce Cowley echoed Mr Grant’s comments, thanking Cootharinga members for voting in support of the merger.

“The cultural synergies between both organisations have certainly enabled us to successfully come together to complete the due diligence phase, and we are excited to embark on the next phase of our merger with Cootharinga North Queensland,” he said.

“As leading providers of disability services and supports, we recognise the importance of continuing to evolve to meet the changing needs of people living with disability in regional and remote communities,” said Mr Cowley.

“Despite having more than 80 locations throughout Queensland, we know there are still many Queensland communities without adequate disability support services and are looking forward to how we can address these needs in partnership with Cootharinga.

“As we start to shift gear and plan for transition over the next three or so months, both organisations will work together in partnership to deliver the best outcome to employees, customers and our local communities,” Mr Cowley said.




Cootharinga North Queensland
Melanie Edgar 0407 159 141

CPL - Choice, Passion, Life
Jen Fleming
M: 0481 752 729


Cootharinga is the largest North Queensland-based disability services provider, with almost 500 employees supporting more than 1,000 people in North, Far North and North West Queensland. CPL is the largest provider of integrated supports in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, with 2,700 employees supporting around 10,000 clients.

Under the proposed merger, Cootharinga will become a subsidiary of CPL, operating with its own Board and local leadership, including Townsville-based Chief Executive Officer, Matt Kinnane and current Cootharinga Board Chair, Rob Grant.

Cootharinga customers will remain as Cootharinga customers with their services delivered by Cootharinga employees. The same will be true for CPL.

Under the new organisation, Cootharinga and CPL will continue to operate under their existing brand names, and customers will be supported by the same staff in the same services.

The proposed merger will:

  • Provide financial security for the future of current Cootharinga North Queensland services
  • Enable both organisations to maintain and build upon their brand names as leaders of services for people with a disability
  • Through a larger customer base, enable a deeper understanding of the current and future needs of people with a disability and support the development of new services