Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Pole position for people with disability at the Grand Prix

People with lifelong disability and their attendant carers will find it easier to attend this weekend’s Melbourne Formula-One Grand Prix with organisers deciding to accept the National Companion Card.

The partnership between the Australian Grand Prix and the Companion Card means that eligible people with lifelong disability who require attendant care support will be able to attend without paying for a second ticket for their companion.

Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, today visited the Grand Prix with Companion Card holder David Wiltshire and his carer-companion Sead Rahmanovic.

“I congratulate the Grand Prix for making it easier for motorsport fans with a severe disability to attend this exciting, annual event,” Mr Shorten said.

“They will get two tickets for the price of one, allowing them to bring a carer.

“By accepting the National Companion Card, race organisers have recognised that people with disability have the same right to get out and enjoy activities as the rest of the community, and this scheme removes one of the obstacles in their way.

“The Australian Grand Prix has accepted the Companion Card since 2003 and is obviously dedicated to making it easier for people with disability.

“The Melbourne F-1 race is one of many major sporting events and activities around the country now accepting the Companion Card, including the Football Federation of Australia and V8 Supercars.

“There are some 32,000 card holders across Australia, including 18,000 in Victoria, and they are able to feel more a part of their community through the Companion Card.”

The Australian Government has invested $1.8 million towards the National Companion Card to enable people with disability to receive the same entitlements across all states and territories.

“More than 2,700 businesses have thrown their support behind the Companion Card and their collaboration is crucial to its success, including over 1600 venues, 400 events, and 15 tournaments/fixtures.

For more information about applying for a card, please visit the Companion Card website.