Paralympics Australia has been given AUD$12 million in funding to help prepare for Tokyo 2020 at an event attended by the country's Prime Minister Scott Morrison ©Prime Minister of Australia

Australia’s athletes have been handed an AUD$12 million (£6.6 million/$8.6 million/€7.5 million) funding boost by the Federal Government ahead of next year's Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the funding in Sydney,at an event launching the rebrand of the Australian Paralympic Committee as "Paralympics Australia".

A total of AUD$8 million (£4.4 million/$5.7 million/€5 million) of the funding will be used to manage the "planning, coordination and delivery" of Australia’s Paralympic team for Tokyo 2020.

The remaining money will be set aside for Paralympic Australia’s base in Victoria where a community, education and events centre will be built.

It is set to feature accessible accommodation, training facilities as well as a Paralympic museum.

"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," Morrison said.

"It also recognises the Australian Paralympic team’s unique and burgeoning place within Australian sport and the value it brings to the Australian people.

"I am proud that the Australian Government will be the key partner in ensuring the Australian Paralympic Team has the best possible chance to shine on the world stage in Tokyo."

Paralympics Australia President Jock O’Callaghan claimed the funding announcement, coupled with the Paralympics Australia rebrand, marked 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," he 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."

Paralympics Australia President Jock O’Callaghan hailed today's funding announcement as an historic day ©Paralympics Australia
Paralympics Australia President Jock O’Callaghan hailed today's funding announcement as an historic day ©Paralympics Australia

Paralympics Australia is preparing to send one of Australia’s largest ever Paralympic teams to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at a cost in excess of AUD$10million (£5.5 million/$7.1 million/€6.3 million).

Athletes from more than 15 sports will be supported by pilots and guides for vision impaired athletes, ramp assistants for boccia athletes, coaches, managers and operational personnel including medical, technical, and administration staff.

Australia has competed in every Paralympic Games since inauguration at Rome in 1960.

Their best performance came at Sydney in 2000 when the won a total of 149 medals, including 63 gold, to rank as the leading nation.

But at Rio 2016 they won only 81 medals, 22 of them gold - their worst performance since Arnhem 1980.