MEDIA RELEASE - EXPANDED AND EXTENDED REGIONAL SENIORS TRAVEL CARD FINALLY ARRIVED

NSW Labor has welcomed the government’s changes to the Regional Seniors Travel Card (RSTC) that will extend the program for an additional two years and expand it to include those eligible for the Age Pension who are receiving either a Disability Support Pension or a Carer Payment from Services Australia.

In the first two years of the trial, seniors who were receiving a Disability Support Pension or Carer’s Payment from Services Australia were not eligible to participate. The NSW Government also initially excluded recipients of Department of Veterans’ Affairs aged pensions, service pensions and disability pensions provided under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986, and war widow(er)s from the trial, only including them after intense lobbying by the NSW Labor Opposition.

Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Jenny Aitchison said the new changes that were announced 8 months ago and would finally be accessible for regional seniors, were a win for the many regional seniors with disabilities and their carers who had previously missed out on receiving support during the first two years of the trial.

“There was a great deal of confusion around the two-year Regional Seniors Travel Card trial when it was first rolled out. Whilst the NSW Nationals made much fanfare of their 2019 election commitment, it’s taken three years to finally get to a fully inclusive program that recognises all seniors receiving pensions through Services Australia or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs,” Ms Aitchison said.

“NSW Labor Regional Opposition Members have continued to lobby the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads and advocate strongly on behalf of people with disabilities and their carers, demanding that they be included in the program.”

“I am very pleased that the NSW Government has finally recognised the thousands of seniors on a Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment who face daily challenges living in regional NSW. It’s a shame that it took the Government so long to include them.”

“People in regions are sick of getting half-baked promises from the Nationals. Only NSW Labor will stand up for all seniors in our regions.”

To apply for a RSTC or for further information call 13 77 88 or visit www.service.nsw.gov.au.

DATE: 19 January 2022