Bid to pump up fuel card for country age pensioners

Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Gasoline nozzle on blueprint background
Camera IconGasoline nozzle on blueprint background Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than 5000 Bunbury pensioners could pocket an extra $25 a year to cover travel costs if The Nationals WA return to Government in 2021.

Earlier in the year, South West MLC Colin Holt asked the government to consider rolling over into the next financial year any unspent money left on the Country Age Pension Fuel Cards.

The call came as many pensioners were self-isolating at home to protect their health at the advice of the State and Federal health ministers.

If successful, Mr Holt said card values would be lifted from $575 to $600 from next July and re-linked to the Consumer Price Index each year thereafter.

“There are about 5300 cardholders in the Albany electorate, 5200 in Bunbury and 4700 in Vasse who will benefit from this overdue lift in card values,” he said.

“With extra value the cardholders can get out with more confidence — and considering the months of COVID-19 restrictions it’s important our pensioners re-engage with their communities.”

Mr Holt said the Country Age Pension Fuel Card was a Nationals WA policy introduced in 2009.

“It has provided great support for regional pensioners to be more active and connected with friends, family and their community,” he said. “It also goes some way to acknowledge that regional pensioners don’t have access to free or heavily subsidised public transport as those in the metropolitan area do.”

Nationals WA deputy leader Shane Love, said $20 million of Royalties for Regions funding would be used to boost the Country Age Pension Fuel Card.

“Our commitment recognises that regional pensioners continue to go without access to subsidised or free public transport enjoyed in metropolitan areas and brings card values up to a contemporary level,” he said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails