PETITION AGAINST TAX SLUG ON PENSIONER RAIL TRAVEL

PETITION AGAINST TAX SLUG ON PENSIONER RAIL TRAVEL

PETITION AGAINST TAX SLUG ON PENSIONER RAIL TRAVEL

26 October 2005

A petition has been launched for Lismore Electorate residents wanting to express their anger at the State Government's new $10 tax slug for seniors using Pensioner Travel Vouchers on CountryLink services.

Lismore MP Thomas George said the new tax broke Labor's 1995 election promise that pensioners would not have to pay the fee.

"The new minimum $10 or 15 per cent booking fee was the cruellest blow of all in the Government's recent CountryLink reforms," Mr George said.

"The new tax is nothing more than a mean grab for cash by a Government addicted to raising taxes.

"By slugging pensioners the Government has shown how desperate its budget crisis must be.

"The $10 fee hits the people who can least afford it and is being imposed at a time the Government should be encouraging people to use public transport services.

"It was also a tax Labor promised never to introduce during the 1995 election campaign.

"This tax slug on pensioners will make rail travel unaffordable for many seniors living in country areas, impacting on their ability to visit family and friends in other parts of the state.

"The recent CountryLink reforms, which included fare rises, job cuts and the closure of some booking offices and travel centres, continue a decade-long trend by Labor to run down country rail services.

"Over the past decade the Carr / Iemma Government has failed to invest in and effectively market country rail services to the point where CountryLink patronage has fallen by almost 20 per cent - or half a million journeys - in just five years.

"John Watkins needs to be told in the strongest terms that the State Government should be encouraging, not discouraging, rail travel."

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577