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Paralympics Australia, The Hangar receive boost

New developments are in place for The Hangar - the Bombers' home base. (Photo: AFL Media)

Essendon Football Club extends its congratulations to Paralympics Australia in securing $12 million in funding from the Federal Government, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Launching the new Paralympics Australia brand, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the funding announcement in Sydney on Wednesday morning alongside Paralympics Australia president Jock O’Callaghan, and Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell.

As part of the funding, $4 million will be directed towards the construction of the Community, Education and Events Centre (CEEC) project at The Hangar in Tullamarine – the Victorian home base to Paralympics Australia and the Essendon Football Club.

The new development, which will feature accessible accommodation and training facilities for Para-athletes and teams as well as a Paralympic museum, will be managed between the Bombers and Paralympics Australia.

Formerly known as the Australian Paralympic Committee, Paralympics Australia’s partnership with the Essendon Football Club commenced in 2013 with the development of The Hangar at Tullamarine.

Prime Minister Morrison said: “This new investment from the Federal Government will assist with the significant costs associated with delivering an Australian team of this size and complexity to the world’s premier event for athletes with a disability. It also recognises the Australian Paralympic Team’s unique and burgeoning place within Australian sport and the value it brings to the Australian people."

Paralympics Australia president Jock O’Callaghan said the funding boost and the re-branding to Paralympics Australia completed a historic day for the Australian Paralympic movement.

“This new investment is a resounding vote of confidence from the Federal Government in the ability of Paralympics Australia to deliver an outstanding return on investment and it confirms the evolving position of Paralympic sport within Australian society,” O’Callaghan said.

“I believe Para-sport and Para-athletes have come of age in Australia. The growing appreciation and respect for our Paralympians and the desire for greater equity and inclusion of Para-sport becomes more evident every day.

“This support will help to continue our wave of momentum heading towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond, so the benefits of sport continue to expand for people with disability, and ultimately lead to greater equity in all areas of life.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Paralympics Australia representatives during Wednesday's funding announcement. (Photos: Adam Taylor - PM Office)

Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment of $4 million to support the second stage of the multi-purpose expansion of The Hangar.

“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Paralympics Australia, an enduring relationship that continues to go from strength-to-strength,” Campbell said.

“It is a landmark day for Paralympics Australia as they launch their new brand alongside securing vital funding for their preparations heading into the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic campaign - a reflection of the evolution of Paralympic sport in this country.”

“We are grateful for the support of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his party for their commitment to the Essendon Football Club and Paralympics Australia partnership through the funding of the development of the CEEC at The Hangar to drive an even greater impact into the community.”

The Community, Education and Events Centre project now has bipartisan Federal support and EFC is working closely with the State Government to bring the CEEC to fruition.