Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Interstate transport concessions for Seniors Card holders

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

The Australian Government has offered almost $50 million over four years to State and Territory Governments so that they can provide concessions to Seniors Card holders who are using public transport services outside their home state.

Until now, Seniors Cards have generally only entitled the holder to public transport concession in their home state.

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

Seniors who travel to Melbourne will receive cheaper fares and enjoy the unique experience of seeing the inner city and suburbs on Melbourne trams.

They would also get concession fares on bus and train travel.

Seniors Cards, which are issued by each state and territory government, are available to people who are generally aged over 60 and working less than fulltime.

When fully operational, over three million Australians who hold seniors cards will benefit.

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 individuals, 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.