Govt expands $250 travel card to veterans and war widows

WAR veterans and widows will now be able to access a $250 travel card with the State government bowing the pressure to expand the eligibility criteria of the card.

The Nationals announced the card in the lead up to the State Election, but were facing a revolt as senior discovered during the rollout that it was restricted to Age Pension and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders.

 

Happy days: Browyn Mackenzie, Roads Minister Paul Toole, Rod Mackenzie, Denise Gillard, and Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh, with the new travel card.
Happy days: Browyn Mackenzie, Roads Minister Paul Toole, Rod Mackenzie, Denise Gillard, and Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh, with the new travel card.

Among those to miss out included veterans as well as war widows, carers and those on disability pensions.

However, Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole yesterday opened eligibility to pension-aged veterans collecting a Service Pension or recipients of a War Widow Pension through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Mr Toole, who said "thousands" of seniors were applying for the card each day, attributed the decision to the government listening to feedback from the community.

"This is the first time we are rolling out a program like this," he said.

"We've heard the feedback from the community, which is why we are now including more seniors in the program.

 

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole.

"Veterans who are now eligible will be able to apply in the coming months, once we have made the necessary updates to our application system."

Mr Toole said the rollout of the card followed a pilot in Coffs Harbour, where about 80 seniors have been trialling the pre-loaded Visa card.

While the card can be used to buy pre-booked TrainLink tickets, the majority of seniors had put the money towards fuel.

Eligible seniors have until November 30 to apply for a card, which remains valid for one year.


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