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Thursday, 22 September 1983
Page: 1167

Mr MILLAR —Will the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism inform the House whether the Government has been able to meet reasonable support requests of amputees, particularly in respect of recreational and sporting opportunities?

Mr JOHN BROWN —I thank the honourable member for his question and recognise the abiding interest that he has had in the position faced by people with physical disabilities in involving themselves in sport in Australia. I am pleased to say, in response to the honourable member's question, that in the Budget which was recently brought down in this House the Government has doubled the funds available for sport and recreation for disabled people. The funds had remained static at $200,000 since 1981. This Government immediately increased those funds to $400,000 to enable disabled people, no matter what their situation or chosen sport, to have greater access to the opportunities that should be available to them.

At this stage I should pay tribute to the disabled people of Australia-those people who have achieved enormously high levels of success in international sporting events for amputees and disabled people. I hope the funds that the Government has made available in the recent Budget will be an encouragement not only to those people and to their self-esteem, but also to able-bodied people. Disabled people play a very important part in our society. Further, it is relevant to say something about the application that has been made by the disabled sports associations to this Government to support their claim for the Disabled Olympic Games to be held in Australia in 1988. It is a matter for regret that we lost the opportunity to stage the Olympic Games in Australia in our bicentennial year. But it is reasonable that this Government is taking every opportunity and is looking at every possibility to support the Disabled Olympic Games being held in Australia in 1988. The Minister for Territories and Local Government and the Prime Minister are both very supportive of the proposition. We will make every endeavour to see that those Games come to fruition in Australia in 1988.