NSW Nationals MPs have joined seniors living in regional NSW to launch a petition to save the popular $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card.
The card, introduced by The Nationals in government in 2019, is a $250 pre-paid Visa card to use on fuel, taxis, electric charging stations, pre-booked NSW TrainLink regional train, and coaches.
Since 2020 more than one million of the cards have been issued, helping seniors maintain their independence by reducing their cost of travel.
NSW Nationals’ leader Dugald Saunders said he hopes the petition will save the Regional Seniors Travel Card from budget cuts under the Labor Government.
“Labor is ignoring regional seniors, and we hope this petition will convince the Minns government to keep the Regional Seniors Travel Card off the chopping block,” Mr Saunders said.
“It would be a backward step by Labor to cut this cost-of-living measure and I hope some of our regionally-based Labor MP’s sign this petition as well,” he said.
Nationals’ Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the demand for the regional seniors travel card proves how valuable it is.
“Over 360,000 seniors travel cards were issued last year and we are seeing that demand continue to grow as cost-of-living pressures stack up,” Mr Farraway said.
Phil Knight from Dubbo said he and his wife have used their cards for the past three years, helping them cover the cost of fuel and allowing them do things they otherwise might not be able to do.
“Both of us having access to a $250 card means we certainly travel more and see family and friends, but it’s also sometimes a nice help with just getting to the doctor or picking up groceries,” he said.
Ray and Margaret Shipley from the Central Coast said the regional travel card is one of the most important items in their household.
“Without the Regional Seniors Travel Card we would have to cut back on the number of activities and appointments we go to every week. It really is a lifeline for us living on the Central Coast,” Mr Shipley said.
To share or sign the petition to help save the Regional Seniors Travel Card, go to: www.savethetravelcard.com.au