Posted August 8th, 2023

Member for Myall Lakes, Tanya Thompson has urged residents to sign a petition designed to pressure the Labor government into keeping a hugely successful cost-of-living measure aimed towards regional seniors.

The Coalition rolled out the $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card in 2019, and more than a million cards have been distributed since. But after cutting off applications for the card in July, Labor on Saturday announced a 4c per litre reduction in fuel for seniors at United service stations.

“Labor’s announcement on Saturday is a weak attempt to compensate eligible seniors, and the most genuine sign so far that it plans on cutting the Regional Seniors Travel Card in September’s Budget,” Mrs Thompson said.

“This plan makes it impossible for seniors living in our region to save as much as they do with our card. We only have two United service stations in the Myall Lakes, at Taree and Bulahdelah. If you can access either of those, then you’ll need to put an unrealistic amount of petrol into your car in order to save as much money.”

NSW Nationals leader Dugald Saunders called the announcement ‘laughable’ and added seniors can’t make the same savings under Labor’s plan as they do under the Coalition’s travel card.

“An eligible senior with a vehicle that has a 60-litre fuel tank would save $2.40 each time they fill it from empty, and would need to do that 105 times a year in order to save more than the $250 they do with our Regional Seniors Travel Card. That’s basically twice a week,” Mr Saunders said.

“For Labor to pass this off as a genuine cost-of-living measure for seniors is laughable. They should keep the Regional Seniors Travel Card because it was a good program that made a meaningful difference to the lives of elderly residents in our regional communities.”

To sign the petition, people are urged to visit the website www.savethetravelcard.com.au and follow the prompts.

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