Cheaper travel for pensioners latest election pledge
TRAVELLING around the state would be cheaper under a NSW Government plan to issue transport cards worth $250 to pensioners in regional areas.
Anyone receiving the age pension or who held a Seniors Health Card would be eligible to receive the Regional Seniors Transport Card which could be spent on fuel, taxis and some trains and buses.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis met with members of the Grafton U3A Men's Shed yesterday to talk about the plan.
It was well received by a many in the group who recognised the importance of financial relief for pensioners.
"It will certainly help me. I take my wife to Coffs Harbour every four to six weeks to see doctors," Bruce Carle said.
"I can see myself getting eight to sixteen trips out of that and if I can't take her to the doctor locally, she can get a taxi."
Mr Gulaptis said the proposed travel card would help ensure seniors in regional areas could have their travel subsidised like their counterparts in the city.
"With further distances to travel and limited public transport options, country seniors rely more heavily on their cars and that means more fuel and more money," he said.
"$250 to fill up your car, to take a cab or to take public transport will mean they can get to medical appointments, see family and friends and go shopping in the same way people in the city use subsidised transport."
The plan and accompanying election material which included a fridge magnet replica of the card, has been criticised by NSW Independent MP Jeremy Buckingham, who likened it to "a bribe" before referring the material to the Electoral Commission.
Mr Gulaptis dismissed claims of vote buying and said he was focused on the scheme's outcomes for regional NSW.
"Irrespective of what the critics say we have the tyranny of distance in the country and we need to resolve that issue and this helps to do that, certainly for pensioners," he said.
Today Mr Gulaptis will launch his campaign at 11am at 40 Prince St, Grafton.
Who will you vote for in the seat of Clarence at the 2019 NSW Election?
This poll ended on 22 March 2019.
STEVE CANSDELL - Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
GREG CLANCY - Greens
TRENT GILBERT - Labor
CHRIS GULAPTIS - Nationals
THOM KOTIS - Sustainable Australia
DEBRAH NOVAK - Independent
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.