By Duncan Mackay

Australia London 2012 Closing CeremonyAugust 13 - Funding for Australian Paralympic sports needs to be dramatically increased if they are compete with Britain, it has been claimed.

The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) have submitted a report to the Federal Government, in which they claim they will receive only half the amount of funding that Britain will in the lead-up to Rio 2016.

The report also highlights what, it claims, are serious inequities in support for people with a disability to participate in sport, compared with support provided to able-bodied Australians.

The APC report claims that Britain's Paralympic athletes are due to receive 20.1 per cent of the total funding in the build-up to Rio 2016 while Australians will get only 10.7 per cent. 

But, despite the gap in funding, Australia won 32 gold medals at London 2012, only two less than Britain.

Overall, however, Britain won a total of 120 medals to finish third overall, with Australia finishing fifth with a total of 85 medals.

Susan Powell London 2012Susan Powell celebrates winning the women's individual C4 pursuit cycling at London 2012, one of 32 gold medals won by Australian athletes at the Paralympics

"Australian Paralympic athletes won 70.1 per cent of all Olympic and Paralympic medals won by Australia in London in 2012," said the report.

"Yet Australian Paralympic sports receive just 10.7 per cent of the 2013/14 AWE [Australia's Winning Edge] overall high performance budget directed to Rio 2016."

To bring the funding programme into line with Britain's, Australian Paralympic sports needs an extra $9.73 million (£5.73 million/€6.69 million) annually, the report claims.

"It is a reality that funding for Para-sport remains well below the relative level of funding of sport for the able-bodied," said APC chief executive Jason Hellwig.

"For example, the figures clearly show that for each Olympic gold medal won in London, the Australian Government has currently allocated 39 times more ongoing funding than has been allocated for each Paralympic gold medal.

"The APC believes that any funding allocation to reduce the inequity in sport for people with a disability should be additional funding, not a re-allocation of existing resources.

"In addition, the submission contains specific proposals for Australian Government support to address identified needs within the Para-sport pathway which limit the opportunities for people with a disability to follow the same sport pathways that are open to their able-bodied peers."

To read the full report click here