Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Full steam ahead for seniors’ transport concessions

An additional 800,000 eligible seniors will have access to cheaper rail fares from 31 May 2009 following a concession agreement reached between the Australian Government and Great Southern Rail.

The agreement delivers on the Government’s election commitment to extend transport concessions for Seniors Card holders across Australia through its initiative – Making Ends Meet.

The Government has provided $50 million over four years to implement the plan.

This announcement means there are now around 3.2 million seniors who are eligible for transport concessions.

Great Southern Rail operates Australia’s iconic rail services including the Indian Pacific (Sydney to Perth), the Ghan (Adelaide to Alice Springs) and the Overland (Melbourne to Adelaide).

These new concession arrangements will save Seniors Card holders up to $490 for each trip on the Indian Pacific, $481 on the Ghan and $31 on the Adelaide to Melbourne Overland.

For example, a full fare senior ‘Gold’ ticket between Sydney and Perth would normally cost $2008 while a new concession ticket for the same journey will now cost $1518.

Seniors Card holders who access these concessions will save up to 25 per cent of the cost of their fare for all class of tickets, except Platinum class.

Seniors Cards are issued by state and territory governments to people who are over the age of 60 and are no longer working full time.

The concessions will encourage more senior Australians to travel Australia, supporting local tourism and local jobs.