With the number of successful applications set to equal last year’s 12,000, the NSW Nationals in the state government’s $250 Seniors Travel cards will have injected more than $6 million into the Clarence and Richmond Valley economies at a time small businesses need it most, according to Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis.
“Last year, $250 prepaid Visa cards were issued to 3697 Richmond Valley and 9042 Clarence Valley seniors. So far in 2021, we have received 1802 applications from Richmond Valley seniors and 4309 from the Clarence Valley,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“The Regional Seniors Travel Card is a NSW Nationals in the state government initiative that recognises that older Australians in regional areas like ours don’t benefit from the subsidised mass transit that Sydneysiders enjoy.
“It is mostly spent at servos for fuel and with taxi drivers, but all local small businesses benefit when thousands of local seniors have a little more disposable income.”
NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the card had injected more than $60 million into regional economies in the first year of the trial, putting money in local cash registers at a time when it was needed the most.
“This card is great news for regional seniors – and another way we are injecting money into the bush with the benefit flowing to fuel stations, taxi drivers and local economies,” Mr Toole said.
“We know how much seniors value this card which has meant the difference between an extra few trips to visit grandkids, the ease of seeing friends locally or just getting to the shops.”
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said it was fantastic to see the keen response to year two of the trial of the $250 prepaid Visa card, which benefited more than 337,500 seniors and their communities in 2020.
“The Regional Seniors Travel Card was a commitment of the NSW Nationals at the 2019 NSW election, and it’s one I’m proud to say we have delivered for the people of regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The card helps ease the burden of travel costs for eligible seniors in regional, rural and remote areas of NSW, making it easier and more affordable for them to do their shopping, attend medical appointments and stay connected with family and friends.
“We are creating a safer and stronger regional NSW and these travel cards are just one way we are helping our senior citizens in their everyday life in the regions.”
Eligible seniors have until November 30, 2021 to apply for the travel card through Service NSW.
Seniors must be an age pensioner with a valid Pensioner Concession Card or hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card issued by either the Department of Human Services or Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Applications for the card can be made online at www.service.nsw.gov.au, by calling 13 77 88 or by visiting a Service NSW Service Centre.