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About Companion Card

Legislation

"The safest and easiest way to protect your organisation from accusations of discrimination is to provide an additional ticket at no extra cost to the holder of a Companion Card."

Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA),
Companion Card and Discrimination Guidelines for AEIA Members,
28th August, 2002.

People with a disability who require attendant care support to participate at community venues and activities have a right to equal participation in the community. This fundamental right is protected under two pieces of legislation.

Under section 42 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Victoria) and section 8 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth) , it is unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability who requires the assistance of a companion.

In the past, a person with a disability who required a companion for attendant care type support to participate at venues/activities has sometimes been required to pay two admission and/or booking fees; one for themselves and one for their companion. This practice is discriminatory because it has the effect of doubling the admission and/or booking price for the person with a disability.

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A number of venue/activity operators have attempted to address this inequity and have allowed free admission for companions. Until the Companion Card, however, there has not been a consistent service or product to verify who may legitimately require a companion for attendant care support at venues and events.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission have both provided unequivocal support for this initiative.

"The Companion Card is an excellent way of meeting some of the obligations service providers have under the existing legislation".

Susan Halliday,
Acting Federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner, 1999-2000,
Companion Card Venue Forum,
6th December, 2000.