The new regional seni0rs transport card has been a bit wobbly ever since it was first mentioned over a year ago. Some folk even suggested the card was National Party trickery and a bribe to win votes in the last state election.
Now with the rollout of the card upon us, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has labelled the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government’s rollout of the card as a fiasco, particularly as carers and disability support pensioners remain ineligible.
Ms Saffin says that the Government late last week caved in to sustained opposition and community pressure by extending the card to war veterans and war widows, many who are our locals here on the North Coast and the Northern Tablelands.
‘During last year’s state election, the Nationals and their candidate for Lismore Mr Curtin trumpeted this card as something really special for seniors, but the reality is that it is for a lucky few,’ said Ms Saffin.
‘I know our pensioners across my four Local Government Areas thought “great”, just as I did – a bit of relief for petrol, some need it to take their loved ones to medical appointments and for themselves.
‘In the country, we cannot always hop on a bus or a train like our city cousins can.
‘Firstly, there was a nine-month delay in making the card available, followed by disbelief from veterans that they, and others, would be treated as second class citizens.
Ms Saffin says to exclude veterans, who have given such great service to Australia, was just plain wrong and the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government had to be shamed into correcting this error of judgment.
‘To continue to shut out carers and disability support pensioners is cruel and hurts country folk and communities harder. These seniors are no less deserving of the card.
‘The Nationals claim they are the only ones looking after country New South Wales, which is bunkum anyway, and their mean-spirited approach to who qualifies for this card, shows how silly their posturing is.’
The regional seniors travel card provides eligible seniors living in the Lismore Electorate with a $250 prepaid card to help with the cost of everyday travel, and can be applied for through Service NSW.