The Bligh Government is delivering more than ever for Queensland seniors with one of the most comprehensive rebate and concession packages available in Australia, State Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt said today.
Mr Pitt said up to 700,000 eligible pensioners, seniors and veterans would benefit from valuable rebates to essential services in the current financial year.
“Queensland has a growing number of pensioners, seniors and veterans and we know we need to do the right thing by them in these tough economic times,” Mr Pitt said.
“That’s why we’re investing in a well-targeted package of concessions which will put more money into their pockets at a time when they need it most.
“Earlier this month the Premier announced an increase to the Seniors Electricity Rebate, giving eligible claimants up to an extra $190 a year.
“This and other rebates will help seniors to pay their power bills and council rates, and assist them in meeting other essential expenses.
“Overall, the State Government’s concessions and rebates will deliver an extra $150 million to seniors in 2009-10.
“They’re a generous range of concessions and we know that all Queenslanders will support them because of the crucial contribution these people have made to the economic development of the state.”
Mr Pitt said the Bligh Government would deliver an extra $20 million in 2009-10 to fund concessions and rebates to Queensland pensioners, seniors and veterans including:
- Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme
- Electricity Rebate Scheme
- Electricity Life Support Concession Scheme
“We’re also funding the Home and Community Care in partnership with the Commonwealth to support frail and aged Queenslanders and their carers, as well as younger people with a disability and their carers,” Mr Pitt said.
“This enables us to provide a range of basic support and maintenance services state wide, through 313 non-government organisations and 60 state and local council agencies.
“These are essential services and our commitment to funding them is a further sign of how we’re working with the Rudd Government to help battlers.”
Home and Community Care is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments. As forecast in the Home and Community Care Queensland Triennial Plan 2008–2011, in 2009–10, both governments will contribute to an expected ongoing budget of $426.2 million.
Mr Pitt also announced more good news for concession-holders planning to travel by train.
“Funding for the Rail Concessions Scheme delivered through Queensland Rail will increase to $36 million in 2009-10, providing discounted travel for pensioners and seniors on Citytrain’s suburban and inter-urban rail services and Traveltrain’s long distance rail services,” Mr Pitt said.
“Thanks to a recent national agreement which provides $50 million over four years to the states and territories, Queensland Seniors Card holders will also have access to concession fares on public transport when they travel interstate.
“In addition to this, the Seniors Card and Seniors Business Discount Card Scheme are both delivering savings to Queenslanders aged 60 years and older.”
For further information about the Bligh Government’s comprehensive range of rebates and concessions, visit www.communities.qld.gov.au