Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully is using Seniors Week to call on the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government to extend the $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card to Wollongong pensioners, who are all currently excluded from the program.
The new card has been open for applications since January 2020 to help pay for fuel and taxi fares and to pre-book NSW TrainLink and coach services.
While the new card has been available to seniors in the Shellharbour local government area, the Government has refused to extend it to seniors living in the Wollongong local government area.
The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian promised to govern for everyone “no matter where they live or what their circumstances” (Sydney Morning Herald, 15 April 2019).
The $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card was a 2019 election commitment but the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government did not disclose that some seniors would be deliberately excluded on the basis of where they lived.
“It is simply outrageous that a pensioner living at Lake Illawarra can access the full benefits of the travel card to save cash on fuel and taxis while the same pensioner living on the other side of the Windang Bridge in Windang can’t.
“The Government’s decision to exclude Wollongong pensioners and veterans from eligibility for the $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card can be reversed today by the stroke of a pen.
“The Premier can use Seniors Week to extend the $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card to Wollongong pensioners and veterans”, Mr Scully said.
Around 1 in every 5 residents of the Wollongong local government area are aged 65 years and over.