Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

National Transport Concessions for Tasmanian Seniors Card holders

Tasmanian Seniors will be able to access new transport concessions when they travel interstate after 1 January as a new national scheme begins to roll out.

Seniors visiting Tasmania will also be able to get concession fares on Tasmanian public transport providing more incentives for grey nomads to spend their tourist dollars in Tasmania.

The Australian Government has offered more than $430,000 over four years to the Tasmanian Government so that it can provide concessions to Seniors Card holders who are using public transport services outside their home state.

Until now, Tasmanian Seniors Cards have only entitled the holder to public transport concessions in Tasmania.

The new arrangements will mean seniors travelling interstate can now access cheaper fares on local transport in their destination city. For example a Tasmanian Seniors Card holder travelling to Sydney will be able to access seniors’ fares on the Sydney Harbour ferry services.

Or if travelling to Melbourne they will receive cheaper fares and enjoy the unique experience of seeing the inner city and suburbs on Melbourne trams.

Tasmanian seniors will also get concession fares on bus and train travel in other states and territories, through the scheme.

A uniform system across Australia will help seniors travel interstate to see family and friends.

Making it more affordable for seniors to travel within Australia will also help communities and businesses that are dependent on tourism.

These new arrangements will begin to roll out from 1 January 2009. The scheme will commence on 1 January in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Discussions with the Western Australian and Queensland governments are continuing.

In the meantime, from 1 January 2009 Queensland will begin offering concessions on its urban public transport to interstate concession holders.