Labor ‘at loss for new ideas’

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan trying his hand at tai chi with local seniors at the Nollamara Autumn Centre after making his seniors’ policy announcement last week.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan trying his hand at tai chi with local seniors at the Nollamara Autumn Centre after making his seniors’ policy announcement last week.

Mr Buswell said Mr McGowan’s announcement was a recommitment to Liberal government initiatives from the past four years.

Among the election promises, Mr McGowan announced a Labor government would introduce free photo identification cards for seniors who don’t hold a driver’s licence.

He also said all seniors and pensioners living in retirement villages and caravan parks would receive their Cost of Living Assistance (CoLA) payment.

He pledged to increase the annual Country Age Pension Fuel Card to $550 and allow cardholders to buy bottled gas; to scrap the additional $7.50 taxi booking fee; free travel for seniors on Metronet and Transperth services between 9am and 3.30pm weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays; and to increase the Seniors Safety and Security Rebate from $400 to $600.

‘WA Labor is aware that making the decision to stop driving, adjusting to life without a car, and still staying involved in an active lifestyle can be very challenging,” Mr McGowan said.

‘Without photo identification, conducting everyday transactions such as opening a bank account, cashing a cheque or receiving international mail can be difficult.’

Mr Buswell said legislation for the photo ID card proposal was already being drafted.

‘As Mr McGowan well knows, Swan Taxis’ proposal for an on-time booking fee is voluntary and has no impact on the cost of taxis for seniors, or anyone else, if they do not elect to use the service,’ Mr Buswell said.

Mr Buswell said he was pleased to see Mr McGowan now supported the CoLA after previously criticising it.

As for the Country Age Pension Fuel Card Mr Buswell said the Liberal-led government initiative provided eligible pensioners with up to $500 a year towards the cost of fuel and/or taxi travel from participating providers.

‘We have already announced that the card will be indexed to CPI to ensure its value keeps pace with cost of living increases.’

Mr Buswell acknowledged Mr McGowan’s promises and said the Liberal Party would announce further details on seniors’ policy.

More Election 2013 coverage page 16