Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has welcomed a move to extend and expand the very popular Regional Seniors Travel Card program.
It was announced on Wednesday that the program, which allows eligible seniors access to a pre-paid $250 VISA card for use on pre-booked NSW Trainlink Regional trains and coaches, fuel and taxis, will run for another two years after an initial two-year trial in 2020 and 2021.
It will also be expanded to include people of Age Pension age who receive either a Disability Pension or a Carers Payment from Services Australia.
So far in 2021, 4858 seniors from the Dubbo local government area have applied for the card, with 2497 applications from Mid-Western and 694 from Narromine. This has put more than $2 million into the pockets of local seniors.
“This was one of the NSW Nationals major election commitments heading into the 2019 election, and it has been a massive winner,” Mr Saunders said.
“It’s great to see the program continue to expand. We knew the positive impact it would make on regional NSW, including places like Dubbo, Narromine, Trangie, Wellington, Mudgee and Gulgong and I’m glad it is set to continue for two more years.
“I’ve had a lot of feedback from people with disabilities and carers, who are the right age for the program but have previously been ineligible. That feedback has been passed on and assessed as part of the analysis of the trial and I’m really pleased that those people will be eligible for the card from next year.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the Regional Seniors Travel card has provided a significant boost to businesses across the regions.
“Having an extra $250 in their pocket has made it easier for regional seniors to get to the shops and medical appointments and stay connected locally and with friends and family living in other parts of the State. It’s also injected more than $108 million into regional economies, benefitting local taxi operators and fuel stations,” Mr Toole said.