Council welcomes Companion Card
Byron Shire’s carers now have free access to various community facilities, thanks to Council’s decision to join the Companion Card program.
The Companion Card allows Byron Shire residents with a disability to have their carer attend events or use transport without incurring the cost of two people.
Council’s Aged and Disability Officer, Karen Ingleman, said Council was please to have joined the Companion Card program.
“The introduction of the Companion Card will help open the doors for more people with disabilities to come along to our facilities,” she said.
“The Card aims to improve access to leisure and recreation venues for people with a disability, by giving a carer the opportunity to use facilities they may not have been able to afford in the past.
“Research from Victoria indicates the card more than doubled the number of recreational outings a person with a disability was able to attend with their carer, because of the reduced cost.
“And about eight in 10 cardholders said their life had changed since receiving the card, including reporting increased feelings of social inclusion, confidence and dignity.”
Ms Ingleman said there were several Council facilities where the card would be accepted.
“The Companion Card can be used at our Byron Bay and Mullumbimby Swimming Pools, and staff are currently working on having it accepted at the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex,” she said.
“The card is also recognised by many Community Hall Committees, as well at a number of non-Council events, including Bluesfest, the Byron Bay Writers Festival, and Dendy Cinema Byron Bay, as well as by Northern Rivers Buslines.
"Council is encouraging other businesses and venues to get on board and help support those in our community who have a disability, and it encourages people with a disability to take advantage of the Companion Card and enjoy our fantastic recreational facilities."
The Companion Card is not means tested and Byron Shire residents can apply for a card directly to Companion Card by phoning 1800 893 044 or by visiting the website: www.nswcompanioncard.org.au.