Monday, July 6, 2009
Cheaper fares for seniors around Australia
Media Statement - 6th July 2009
Jenny Macklin - Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Australian seniors will be able to benefit from nation-wide, reciprocal public transport concessions, as part of a $50 million national agreement.
All seniors throughout Australia can now access concession fares on interstate public transport systems as part of the National Seniors Transport Scheme.
The Scheme will provide incentives for seniors to spend their tourist dollars in Australia and is a boost for communities and businesses that depend on tourism.
The commencement of a nation-wide Scheme follows the Western Australian and Queensland Governments' decision to adopt the new concession arrangements.
New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmanian, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory implemented the Scheme from 1 January 2009.
Until the beginning of this year, Seniors Card holders were only able to access public transport concessions in their home state.
This Scheme will benefit 800,000 Senior Card holders, who were previously unable to access public transport concessions outside their home state. This brings the total number of seniors who can access interstate concessions to more than 3 million.
The new Australia-wide concessions will enable older Australians to save money when they travel interstate, and make it more affordable for seniors to visit friends and families outside their home state.
The commencement of a nation-wide scheme delivers on a major election commitment.
This announcement builds on the Australian Government's recent agreement with Great Southern Rail to introduce concessions for Seniors Card holders on its services (the Indian Pacific, the Ghan and the Overland).
Seniors Cards are issued by state and territory governments to residents who are generally aged 60 years and over and no longer working full time.
Australian Government funding to states and territories for National Seniors Transport Scheme
State Four year funding
New South Wales $22,649,177
Western Australia $1,552,613
South Australia $1,401,448
Australian Capital Territory $648,866
Northern Territory $277,888
Total funding $47,726,192
Note: $2 million has been allocated for the provision of seniors concessions on Great Southern Rail services.