13th July 2023
On the chopping block: Regional Seniors Travel Card
The NSW Government is considering axing the Regional Seniors Travel Card in the upcoming budget.
The $250 prepaid card aids in travel costs for seniors.
The potential discontination of the card has been met with consternation from seniors across the state.
Now, the NSW Liberals and Nationals have launched a petition against the Labor Government to save the card from budget cuts.
Over one million cards have been issued since 2020 and numbers are set to rise, due to the cost of living pressures.
The travel card has proved valuable, granting independence to many seniors, as they maintain access to family and necessary appointments.
Leader of the NSW Nationals, Dugald Saunders, said he hopes the petition will bring attention to the essential impact of the travel card on regional seniors.
“It would be a backward step by the Labor Government to cut this cost-of-living measure and I hope some of our regionally based, Labor MP’s, sign this petition as well,” Mr Saunders said.
Seniors are encouraged to share the petition with their community and contacttheir localLabor representatives.
Coonabarabran resident, Lorraine Clements, has been gaining the benefits from the card since its circulation.
Mrs Clements said she uses the card for fuel so she can attend appointments and visit family members, and expressed her disappointment at the idea of the card being taken away.
“All the little things help. It just means many have to find an extra $250,” Mrs Clements said.
The card allows pensioners to save on costs and spend a little more on special moments such as going out for lunch or socialising with friends.
Taking away the benefit could have a negative social and economic impact on small towns.
Sarah Mitchell, Duty MLC for Barwon, said she understands the effects of cutting this local lifeline for seniors in small, regional communities.
“We can’t afford to lose another great, regional program because the Government continues to prioritise Sydney projects over the regions,” Mrs Mitchell said.