The $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card is set to be axed as part of NSW Labor’s slashing bonanza.
The program began as a two-year trial starting in 2020. It was extended by another two years but is due to expire at the end of this year.
The $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card has been an immensely successful program with more than one million cards distributed, making a real difference in the everyday lives of regional seniors living in NSW and injecting nearly $200 million into the State’s economy.
Seniors have used the cards on fuel, taxis, and pre-booked NSW TrainLink regional trains and coaches, helping those eligible with the cost of getting from A to B.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said this has been an invaluable program for seniors living in regional areas and needs to be made permanent.
“We know how much seniors value this card – it can mean a few extra visits to the grandkids, or make seeing friends locally, getting to the shops, or attending medical appointments much easier,” Mr Toole said.
“Not only has this card been a game changer for regional seniors, but it’s also been another way we are injecting money into the bush with the benefit flowing to fuel stations, taxi drivers and local economies.
“Everyone is feeling the financial pinch, and it could not come at a worse time for seniors who are already doing it tough enough with cost-of-living pressures. Removing this program will only add to this burden.”
Mr Toole said he isn’t surprised by Labor’s actions.
“Labor opposed this card when we first announced it, and then they did a U-turn and wanted the card for people in the city, so now it comes as no surprise the program is on the chopping block to pay for their election commitments in Western Sydney,” he said.
“This is a vital program for people in the regions. I don’t want to see them short-changed by the new Minns Government.
“For many, this card has been bridging the difference between isolating our seniors or giving them a quality of life.”
Applications are open for the current round of cards which will close on November 30, 2023.
Seniors can apply online at service.nsw.gov.au, by visiting their local Service NSW shopfront or calling 1800 569 070.
To sign the petition, please visit: www.paultoolemp.com.au/petition