Senior citizens in Dubbo and across Western NSW will soon be able to use a government funded card worth $250 to pay for petrol, taxi fares or public transport.
From January 29, eligible residents will be able to apply to get a regional seniors travel card from the NSW government. The card aims to help elderly residents struggling with the cost of living and it was a key election promise made by the NSW National Party.
Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders says the card should help seniors save money.
"Eligible seniors will be able to use their card to purchase fuel, use taxi services or travel on NSW TrainLink trains and coaches," Mr Saunders advised.
"This is also great news for regional businesses including fuel stations and taxi drivers as they too will benefit from the initiative."
Regional Transport Minister Paul Toole said seniors in Coffs Harbour would take part in a trial of the card from Thursday.
"It will allow us to test the card and work through any issues that may arise," Mr Toole said.
"Following a successful trial we anticipate the regional seniors travel card will start to reach eligible seniors from mid-late February."
Despite the offer of financial relief, the government's plan to rollout the card has been criticised by the NSW Labor Opposition who have called for the application process to be abolished and the cards to be posted to every eligible senior.
Labor's public services spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis suggested seniors who were "not up to speed with modern technology" would not access the cards.
"I think the government needs to have a one stop shop in drought and fire-affected communities to make sure people who need support, are receiving support," Ms Cotsis said.
Eligible seniors can apply for a card on the Service NSW website, by calling 13 77 88 or by visiting a Service NSW service centre.
Seniors who live in small communities can apply for a card when the mobile Service NSW bus visits Trangie on February 11, Narromine on February 13 and Gulgong on March 3.