Let’s deal in hard facts, not fiction

25 Jul 2017

It was interesting to read in Letters to the Editor in the NT News recently that COTA NT is supposedly saying silent on the slashing of concessions for seniors.

Obviously the writer hasn’t read these articles [Seniors Voice], listened to the radio or attended any forums organised by COTA regarding the concession review.  Also, there is much misinformation and scaremongering out there regarding the concessions. It is a review that is being conducted and COTA NT would stress that no decision by the NT government has been made as yet.

This is the time for all seniors to have their say on how they envisage the future of the scheme to look like. COTA NT also has a petition that all seniors are invited to sign.

The wording of the petition is:

  • That we demand that the NT Government reinstate the below mentioned concessions for all senior Territorians over the age of 65 who are either retired (self-funded), low income earners, part pensioners or pensioners.
  • We would also demand that the current grandfather clause stay as is – that is all seniors are to be included equally in the scheme.
  • Concessions should remain attached to existing utilities and services such as licences, MVR registrations, rates, spectacles and so on.
  • Cap power and water concessions to the regional average
  • Travel concessions to be $700 for all seniors – to be distributed via a nominated bank account either on January 1 or July 1 biannually.
  • A suggested qualifying period of two years as an NT resident before you are eligible to claim concessions.
  • Consideration should also be given as to how seniors int he rural and remote area can access concessions for water, sewerage and rubbish removal which are not provided by the government or councils but by rural seniors themselves.

Most of the system is not broken. As COTA keeps reiterating, our seniors are the social fabric of our society. They have contributed to the social and economic development and well-being of the Territory. COTA would demand they be recognised and given incentives such as the concessions, which would continue to ease the cost of living pressures.

With more than 10.5 percent of the NT’s population aged over 65, plus their families, this is a large voting block, that the NT Government can’t ignore. If they do, it is at their peril.

Sue Shearer, CEO COTA NT



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