THE cost of travel for rural and regional seniors will be eased from January 2020, via the rollout of the $250 Regional Seniors Transport Card.
Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen said the initiative was announced during the 2019 NSW State Election campaign.
And, he believes it will help thousands of seniors in the electorate.
"Travel is one of the most significant household costs for residents living in regional NSW," Mr Johnsen said.
"The government is committed to reducing that cost for our seniors.
"This is why, during the 2019 State Election campaign, we promised to implement the Regional Seniors Transport Card.
"I am proud to be a member of a government that is following through with our promise to rural and regional NSW."
Mr Johnsen said the initiative complemented a suite of cost of living measures already rolled out.
"This card will provide eligible recipients with $250 a year for the purchase of fuel and taxi services from participating providers in rural and regional NSW, as well as pre-booked NSW TrainLink services," he explained.
"As per our commitment, eligible seniors are those who reside in regional NSW, and are either aged pensioners or Commonwealth Senior Health Card holders, can take advantage of the Regional Seniors Transport Card from January 2020.
"We know it can be a bit challenging for older country residents to travel to medical appointments or to see loved ones.
"With further distances to travel, they rely more heavily on private travel, which can be a more expensive option.
"This initiative will ease the pressure on seniors to access our local essential services, and beyond, and help address cost of living pressures in the bush."
The Regional Seniors Transport Card policy follows a recommendation from the 2016 NSW Parliamentary Committee on Community Services into the access to Transport for Seniors and Disadvantaged People in Rural and Regional NSW.
Recipients must live in regional NSW, outside Newcastle and Wollongong city council boundaries, and be either an aged pensioner or a Commonwealth Senior Health Cardholder.
Further details about the rollout of the $250 Regional Seniors' Transport Cards will be made available later in the year.
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