STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin estimates that the popular Regional Seniors Travel Card so far has injected more than $3.5 million into local economies within our Electorate of Lismore.
While Ms Saffin still maintains that the NSW Government initiative should be extended to seniors with a disability and their senior carers, she says there is no doubting the strong take-up of the $250 prepaid Visa cards midway through a current two-year trial.
Last year, a total of 8536 eligible seniors in the Electorate of Lismore successfully applied for a card, and so far this year, a total of 5462 have applied.
Eligible seniors still have until 30 November 2021 to apply through Service NSW.
The breakdown is:
- Lismore City Council Local Government Area – 4593 eligible seniors in 2020; 2940 in 2021.
- Kyogle LGA – 1139 in 2020; 757 in 2021.
- Murwillumbah and surrounding district – 1877 in 2020; 1223 in 2021.
- Tenterfield Shire – 927 in 2020; 542 in 2021.
Ms Saffin said she welcomed any government initiative which gave seniors more spending power, particularly to meet transport costs as the card is mostly spent on taxi fares and at servos for fuel.
“Our taxi operators and service station owners are directly benefitting but so too must other local businesses indirectly when local seniors have a little more disposable income,” Ms Saffin said.
“I was glad to have been among a number of MPs who convinced the NSW Government to include veterans groups under the trial, and have continued to lobby on behalf of the most vulnerable – seniors with a disability and their senior carers.”
To be eligible currently, 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 are made online at www.service.nsw.gov.au, by calling 13 77 88 or by visiting a Service NSW Service Centre.
Monday, 8 March 2021.