21 January 2022
TRISH DOYLE MP
Member for Blue Mountains
BLUE MOUNTAINS SENIORS ONCE AGAIN EXCLUDED FROM REGIONAL SENIORS TRAVEL CARD PROGRAMME
The NSW Liberal/Nationals Government has this week opened applications for the 2022 round of the Regional Seniors Travel Card but has once again excluded Blue Mountains residents from the programme.
Under the scheme, regional seniors are entitled to a $250 travel card each year to put towards expenses such as public transport fares, petrol and taxis. The scheme has been designed to help those seniors living in communities further away from major services to access them without being left out of pocket.
Despite making the scheme available to residents of highly urbanised parts of the Central Coast, and even to seniors living in Queanbeyan – 10 minutes from the centre of Canberra, the NSW Liberal/Nationals Government has rejected repeated calls from Blue Mountains Labor MP Trish Doyle to extend the scheme to the seniors of the Mountains.
“The Government’s bizarre justification for this ongoing exclusion is that the Blue Mountains is allegedly a ‘metropolitan’ area’” Ms Doyle said. “Frankly this begs the question – what planet is the Premier living on?”
“If the NSW Government can see the need for seniors to access this scheme who live in larger communities that are often even closer to major centres than the Blue Mountains, then we can only infer that their decision to exclude our community is politically motivated.”
“I hear almost daily from distressed local seniors who have to travel to Lithgow or Penrith on a regular basis to access essential services such as healthcare including vaccination appointments. The cost of doing this, particularly for a pensioner can be staggering.”
“The suggestion from the Liberals and Nationals that our older residents do not need this assistance because they enjoy a ‘metropolitan’ level of access to services is as baffling as it is outrageous. I’d love to see them come out to one of our villages and make that argument in person.”
“This is just another blatant example of pork barrelling from a Government that simply couldn’t give a R.A.T.s” Ms. Doyle concluded.
DATE: 21 JANUARY 2022