COTA NSW welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance that there will be no increase to set fares for Gold Opal card customers this year.
Ian Day, CEO of COTA NSW, joined Minister Constance at his announcement today that the Government will not be adopting recommendations made by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) that the eligibility criteria for the Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal be changed and that the daily fare cap of $2.50 be increased.
“I can confirm today the daily fare cap for our seniors and pensioners will be kept at $2.50,” Mr Constance said.
“The $2.50 concession for seniors was initially set as a universal entitlement for people over 60 living in NSW who do no more than 20 hours of paid work per week, regardless of their circumstances,” said Mr Day. “The IPART recommendation that this concession should be means tested would have defeated the crucial purpose of this concession to promote older people’s ability to get out and about, to limit their chances of social isolation, and to encourage them to make the contributions that they do through volunteering.”
“COTA NSW opposed these recommendations since their release - submitting a Joint Submission with the Older Women’s Network
in December of last year - and we are very happy to see Minister Constance confirming that the proposed changes to the Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal will not be adopted.”
“For older people with a fixed income and facing rising cost of living expenses, they do not have the capacity to absorb even moderate increases in fares. We are happy to see the Government recognising this and avoiding a change that would have negatively affected many older people in NSW.”