Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Grants to make local communities more accessible for people with disability

Applications for grants of up to $100,000 will open tomorrow to local councils to make their communities more accessible for people with disability.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, is encouraging local councils to apply for grants available under the Australian Government’s new $5 million Accessible Communities program.

The small infrastructure grants, which are open to individual councils or consortia of councils, will help improve the accessibility of public buildings and facilities for people with disability, so they can participate fully in the community.

This includes making improvements such as access ramps, lifts, hoists and accessible public toilets to community infrastructure such as playgrounds, swimming pools, libraries and town halls.

“People with disability and their carers deserve the same opportunities as other Australians in their local community.

“These grants will give local councils financial assistance to upgrade their public buildings and facilities so people with disability and their carers can participate in the local community.”

The Accessible Communities program delivers on a Gillard Labor Government election commitment and is part of an $11 million accessibility package to support the Government’s National Disability Strategy.

The Strategy will set a 10-year reform plan for all governments to address the barriers faced by Australians with disability and encourage greater social inclusion.

Applications for grants close on 25 February 2011. The grants must be matched by applicants with an equal or greater amount of funding.

More information on the program, including application forms and guidelines, will be available at from Monday 24 January 2011.