Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, right, with DeiselGas Moree diesel mechanic apprentices Caleb Simpson, left, and Blake Schwartz.
Friday, 2 December 2022
THE region’s apprentices and university students will enjoy a handy boost to their stretched budgets next year, thanks to the introduction of a new $250 travel card, according to Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall said the new Regional Apprentice and University Student Travel Card would boost the budgets of the region’s apprentices and university students, with $250 each year to help ease the cost of the commute to work, training or university studies.
The MP recently visited DeiselGas Moree to share the good news with Moree-based diesel mechanic apprentices Blake Schwartz and Caleb Simpson.
“This new travel card will relieve some of the hip pocket pressure being experienced by our region’s apprentices, trainees and university students,” Mr Marshall said.
“We know apprentices and university students in the bush often need to travel long distances for work or between training, classes and practical learning – and this is about easing that burden.
“It puts $250 in their pocket to help them cover the cost of filling up the tank with fuel or catching public transport to and from the campus.”
Mr Marshall said the initiative built on success of the Regional Seniors Travel Card, which has been a wildly popular initiative over the past two years with regional seniors signing up in droves to access a practical and useful budget booster.
“It is important that access to training and tertiary education is affordable and this card will go some way to easing the budget pressure that extra travel can bring,” he said.
DeiselGas Moree apprentice Blake Schwartz said the pre-paid travel card would provide some welcome relief to his travel costs.
“It is a good idea and will help with the cost of travel to work and TAFE, especially given that Moree is pretty remote and we don’t have the same options to use public transport that people in the cities have,” Mr Schwartz said.
“With fuel costs still pretty high, every extra bit certainly helps and I’ll be applying for the card as soon as I can.”
Director of DeiselGas Moree Donna Solomon said the prepaid card would go some way toward offsetting those extra costs that regionally-based workers were faced with each day.
“Our apprentices are all valuable team members and they are committed to completing their training and gaining the skills needed to complete their qualifications,” Ms Solomon said.
“The costs of travelling long distances to undertake that training, such as Tamworth for TAFE, is a substantial cost and is an added burden on their restricted income, so the extra funding provided through the travel card, is a very practical initiative.”
The Regional Apprentice and University Student Travel Card will be available through Service NSW.
The new prepaid debit card can be used for taxi trips, fuel, Opal card top ups, public transport and privately-operated coaches, and electric charging stations.
To be eligible for a card, 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.