NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Ageing John Ajaka today announced a series of major enhancements to popular seniors’ programs at the first of the 2015 Premier’s Seniors Week Gala Concerts at the Qantas Credit Union Arena in Darling Harbour.
Before an audience of about 10,000 seniors, Mr Baird said that NSW has a great opportunity to realise the benefits of an ageing population and to harness the contribution of seniors in our communities.
“There are about 1.3 million people with a NSW Seniors Card and we want to harness the enormous popularity of this program to secure group discounts and ensure cheaper bills for seniors,” Mr Baird said.
“We can use the huge number of card holders in the program as leverage when negotiating deals with private sector companies on behalf of our seniors.
“Our first focus will be a major energy retailer, a telecommunications company and a supermarket chain and if re-elected we will be working with them on ways of delivering discounts for NSW Seniors Card holders.
“The NSW Government will invest $2 million into this program and we are confident we can triple the number of business outlets offering discounts as part of the NSW Seniors Card program.
“We will also invest $4 million to an Age-Friendly Communities Grant Scheme to ensure councils, NGOs and small business help us prepare for the impact of an ageing population.
“Today’s ageing package builds on the NSW Government’s existing assurance that we are here to protect and support our community’s valued seniors.”
A re-elected Baird Government will:
- Provide more savings for Seniors Card holders: Investing a further $2 million into the Seniors Card program to expand the number of businesses offering discounts. As part of this expansion, we will work with a major energy retailer to deliver discounts on gas and electricity bills, a telecommunications company to provide lower cost broadband, and a supermarket chain so that seniors can access discounts on home delivery of groceries.
- Improve accessibility in local communities: Increasing grants for local community projects to provide $4 million to help local councils, non-government organisations, and small businesses deliver accessibility, active living and mobility projects for seniors.
- Protect concessions for seniors: We have committed $343 million to extend vital concessions to seniors, which were axed by the Commonwealth in its Budget.
- Fund more computer training classes for seniors: We have committed $2 million to turbo-charge the Tech Savvy Seniors Program, providing 38,000 places over four years.
Mr Ajaka said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government released the State’s first Ageing Strategy in 2012, with the vision that people in NSW should experience the benefits of living longer and better lives.
“Today’s additional commitments will help build on that goal and empower people to plan ahead for their future, and deliver the services that seniors want and need,” Mr Ajaka said.
“The Premier’s Gala Concerts are staged by the NSW Government to thank NSW’s 1.5 million seniors for their ongoing contributions to the community.
“I am excited to be opening the first concert for the year with the Premier, showing our appreciation for all of the seniors across the state.”
The concerts are just one of the highlights of NSW Seniors Week, which includes thousands of events across NSW and runs between 14 and 22 March.