Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Time For Tasmania To Reward Self-Funded Retirees

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today called on the Tasmanian Government to accept a new offer, which could save the State’s 5600 self-funded retirees an average of $600 a year on their rates, car registration and electricity charges.

The Australian Government has offered the State Government $1.4 million to provide concessions for energy, rates, water and sewerage and motor vehicle registration costs for Tasmania’s 5600 holders of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

Senator Patterson said: “If the State government signs up to this offer, self-funded retirees – an important group in the community who have provided for their own retirement – will be eligible for a range of concessions.

“Providing these discounts for our seniors is just one way we can recognise and acknowledge the contribution of self-funded retirees have made and continue to make to Australia.”

Senator Patterson said extending concessions to Tasmania’s CSHC holders is part of a $75 million Australian Government offer to the States and Territories.

“I have written to the new Tasmanian Premier asking him to consider this new offer. The former Premier rejected a previous offer. We have increased that offer to Tasmania by $320,000. I encourage Tasmania to take up this offer to reward its seniors.”

Senator Patterson said the offer was based on joint funding with the Australian Government contributing 60% and the States 40% of the costs of providing the concessions.

“We believe that the provision of concessions is a State government responsibility. Our offer is generous because we are asking the States and Territories to pay less than half of the costs,” she said.

“It is time that Tasmania joins Western Australia and the Northern Territory, both of which offer concessions to their CSHC holders, and have shown interest in accepting the offer.”