The state’s peak social services body, NCOSS has welcomed IPART’s recommendation to the State Government that Health Care Card holders should have reduced transport costs.
The recommendation follows NCOSS’s submission to the Tribunal which called for concession fare eligibility to be extended to all Health Care Card holders.
NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said the recommendation, if implemented, would provide a much-needed boost to those struggling.
“We know thousands of families and individuals are struggling to make ends meet across NSW,” Ms Quilty said.
“Transport costs are a significant barrier to many people living healthy and productive lives and we need to be doing more to improve access.
“NCOSS has been calling for transport cost relief for Health Care Card holders and we are pleased to see IPART endorse this.”
The IPART recommendation comes as recently released research from NCOSS and NATSEM revealed more than 880,000 people in NSW are living below the poverty line.
The research also showed having a job is not necessarily a guarantee of economic security, with poverty rates for people in full-time and part-time work across the state at 5% and 7% respectively.
For these people, high transport costs increase financial insecurity and can limit employment opportunities.
NCOSS is now calling on the NSW Government and Minister Constance to adopt this recommendation and deliver this relief to those who need it.
“This is a test first step, but we need the State Government to take up this recommendation and implement it as a matter of urgency,” she said.
“We would also urge the Government to adopt a range of other transport cost relief measures NCOSS has been calling for, including extending the Opal Gold fair to Newstart recipients.”
NCOSS’s key recommendations to the IPART review included:
- Extend the $2.50 per day Opal Gold fare to Newstart recipients.
- Off-peak travel concessions should be extended to other transport modes.
- Introduce more sensitive distance bands so fares increase incrementally.
- Remove mode change fare penalties and replace with incentives to transfer between modes.
- Extend concession fare eligibility to all Health Care Card holders.
NCOSS‘s submission to the IPART review, can be found here.
For more information on NCOSS visit www.ncoss.org.au
Media contact: Sarah Michael 0401 591 286