Carers Sharon White, left, and Sam Moore, right, assist Tahlia Hardwick with her aqua therapy. Tahlia holds a Companion Card which allows one of her carers free entry to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre.
Carers Sharon White, left, and Sam Moore, right, assist Tahlia Hardwick with her aqua therapy. Tahlia holds a Companion Card which allows one of her carers free entry to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre.

Fees dropped at Bay pool

COMPANIONS of people with a disability can now enter the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre free after the Fraser Coast Regional Council introduced the Companion Card program to the pool.

The person with the disability is the cardholder and pays entry but the companion enters free in order to assist the person with the disability to participate in aquatic activities.

Donna Hardwick of Hervey Bay said her daughter Tahlia had benefited from aqua therapy at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre for the past three years.

“She needs two carers to help her in the pool and until now we have been paying the advertised entry fee for all three to use the pool once a week,” she said.

The Companion Card can also be used at the Brolga Theatre in Maryborough.

Mrs Hardwick said the card made the difference between going to shows or other activities and staying home.

“Tahlia needs two carers in the pool but at other venues such as the Brolga Theatre she needs only one carer so the Companion Card halves the entry cost.”

Fraser Coast mayor Mick Kruger said the council took pride in promoting an inclusive community.

“This is another way that we can encourage people with a disability to participate in social and recreational activities in our community.”

The Companion Card program is issued by Disability Services Queensland.

It is designed for people with a disability who have a lifelong need for attendant care support in order to take part in activities and visit venues in the community.

The program operates throughout Australia.

A companion is any person, including a paid or unpaid carer, friend or family member who accompanies a cardholder to provide attendant care support.

To obtain a card, applicants must complete a cardholder application form and provide medical information and verification by a service provider or registered health professional about the need for lifelong attendant care support.

To apply for a Companion Card, call Disability Services Queensland on 131 304 from 8am to 6pm on Monday to Friday or go to www.companioncard.gov.au.



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