$250 SENIORS TRAVEL ‘LOOPHOLE’ A PITIFUL EXCUSE TO AXE POPULAR CARD

$250 SENIORS TRAVEL ‘LOOPHOLE’ A PITIFUL EXCUSE TO AXE POPULAR CARD

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, right, launching a community petition to save the $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card earlier this month, alongside Armidale University of the Third Aged Treasurer Doug Barber.

Wednesday, 28 June 2023

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today blasted the State Government for announcing it has ‘suspended’ the Regional Seniors Travel Card, refusing to allow any new applicants for the card, on the spurious grounds it is being misused by seniors.

In demanding the card be urgently re-instated, Mr Marshall said the government had a long-standing secret agenda to axe the card, however, they were playing pitiful politics by saying it was being used incorrectly.

“In the Northern Tablelands, this $250 cost-of-living relief card is popular and essential for more than 12,000 seniors to travel to medical appointments, purchase fuel and help get from a-to-b,” Mr Marshall said.

“To axe the card based on nothing more than a stunt, suggesting it is being used to buy cigarettes and junk food – as stated by Premier Chris Minns yesterday – is quite insulting, mean and juvenile.

“While it’s fine to have the department investigate the loophole, it is not okay to use this as a justification for giving the flick to a very popular and vital public policy initiative.

“The reality is all the seniors I have spoken to in our region are using the card properly and what it was intended for – and it’s making a huge difference for those struggling with cost of living pressures.

“With many of our local seniors already feeling the cost-of-living pinch, axing this travel card would represent a major blow at a time when our seniors need this assistance the most.

“A few weeks ago, I launched a community petition to fight to save the card from being put on the chopping block in the upcoming September Budget.

“I am urging my community to sign a petition so that we can together campaign to get the card back up and running.

“Across NSW, more than 1 million seniors currently access the Regional Seniors Travel Card.

“I hope that we can send a strong message to the government on Macquarie Street about how important and valuable this card is for seniors in rural and regional NSW.”

Paper copies of the petition are available at Mr Marshall’s Armidale and Moree Electorate Offices for signing and distribution.

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