The NSW Nationals in the state government are boosting the budgets of regional apprentices and university students with a new $250 travel card to help with the cost commuting to work, training or university.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said this is about making transport options more accessible.
“We know apprentices and university students in the bush often need to travel long distances for work or between training, classes and practical learning,” Mr Toole said.
“This eases that burden by putting $250 in their pocket to help cover the cost of filling up the tank or catching public transport to campus.”
Nationals Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell said the initiative will take the pressure off the hip pocket of local apprentices, trainees and university students.
“Whether you’re studying locally in Muswellbrook, travel to Newcastle or Kurri Kurri or need to trek further away from home, this card is about making the process a little easier and more affordable,” Mr Layzell said.
“This builds on the Regional Seniors Travel Card, with more than one million cards making a real difference to the everyday lives of regional seniors living in the Upper Hunter and injecting nearly $200 million into the State’s economy.”
Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said apprentices will be the first to access the card under the two-year trial which will open to applications from February next year with uni students to follow in April.
“Whether you’re a 16-year-old mechanic apprentice or a 60-year-old university student studying teaching, if you live in the bush you may be eligible for the travel card,” Mr Farraway said.
“The prepaid debit card can be used for taxi trips, fuel, Opal card top ups, public transport and privately-operated coaches, and electric charging stations.
“Putting more money back into the pockets of apprentices and uni students is one way the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is securing a brighter future for NSW families.
“We know supporting regional apprentices and university students through this initiative will make a difference.”
To be considered eligible a participant must:
• meet relevant citizenship or permanent residency requirements
• reside in a regional location outside Greater Sydney and the Newcastle and Wollongong City Council boundaries
• be between the ages of 16 and pension age (currently 66 and 6 months)
• be undertaking an active apprenticeship or traineeship registered with Training Services NSW or an undergraduate university course. Courses must be full-time and face-to-face
• be enrolled in an eligible campus. (Select campuses are still being defined).