Australia’s Paralympic medallists will receive the same financial rewards as their Olympic counterparts in a major funding boost from the federal government.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in parliament on Thursday that the government would guarantee $20,000 for every Australian gold medal at the Tokyo Games, plus $15,000 per silver and $10,000 for each bronze.
The Australian Olympic Committee had the same incentives for the Tokyo Games.
But Paralympics Australia said it lacked the financial resources to provide the same reward program for its athletes.
“Australia’s para-athletes have represented our nation with great distinction and pride in Tokyo, delivering performances that have buoyed millions during what is a difficult time for the nation,” the government said in a statement announcing the funding.
The government added it will work with Paralympics Australia and other sporting bodies to grow corporate backing for para-sports.
“This additional commercial revenue could ensure Paralympics Australia can sustainably make medal bonus payments to athletes at future Paralympics,” it said.
Paralympics Australia hailed the funding announcement as a landmark move towards equity in sport.
“We have fought so hard for equity in funding for our para-athletes and the Government, along with Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport, have been great supporters of this along the way,” said Paralympics Australia chief executive Lynne Anderson.
“This is such an incredible reward for our successful Tokyo Games medallists.
“They have all told stories of the importance of valuing inclusion and equity for people with a disability in sport and society in their post-event interviews.
“To see equal medal recognition with their Olympic counterparts become a reality, demonstrates tangible proof of what they are advocating for and real hope for a more inclusive future.”
The Paralympics end on Sunday and Australia is eighth on the medal table with 15 gold, 23 silver and 24 bronze.