Australian seniors living in rural and regional NSW will receive a $250 travel card under a new offer from the state government.
The card, which can be used for fuel, taxis and on some trains and buses, was announced by deputy premier and state nationals leader John Barilaro today.
It comes after a 2016 recommendation by a parliamentary committee, but an Independent MP has slammed the promise as “electoral bribery”.
NSW heads to the polls on 23 March.
Who exactly gets the card?
Pensioners and those with a seniors health card living in regional NSW will be eligible for the card, and can renew the card annually for two years.
“Travel is one of the most significant household costs faced by those living across rural and regional NSW – and with further distances to travel, country seniors rely more heavily on their cars – that means more fuel and more money,” Barilaro said.
However Independents’ Jeremy Buckingham has complained to the NSW Electoral Commission over the scheme.
The Nationals have sent electorates cards with the headline: “Vote 1 The Nationals to get your Regional Seniors Transport Card”.
Buckingham warned that linking voting for a party with a monetary reward skates dangerously close to electoral bribery.
“Many voters will see linking the act of voting Nationals ‘to get your’ card to the value of $250, with an actual sample plastic card, as an attempted bribe, others may fall for it and be influenced at the ballot box,” he said.
– With AAP.
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