The National Companion Card Scheme budget measure will support the implementation of companion card across Australia. The companion card enables people with disability who are dependent on full time care to take a companion to a range of sporting, entertainment and other events without incurring the cost of a second ticket.
Australian Government funding will assist to develop and implement nationally consistent rules and support enhanced communication activities to increase the number of national affiliate organisations that recognise the card.
The National Companion Card Scheme delivers on a Rudd Government election commitment and is part of an integrated whole-of-government response to support greater social inclusion for people with disability and their carers.
There are currently over 200,000 cardholders and 1,800 affiliate organisations (which will increase in number through ongoing marketing and promotion).
The companion card scheme originated in Victoria in 2003 and currently operates in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory are also working towards implementing companion cards.
Key Australian Government deliverables will be implemented by the end of 2010.
Total Government Funding
$1.8 million over three years to 2011-12.