A new debit card will replace the existing paper travel vouchers for the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme.
Territory seniors (65 and over) receive $500 annually from the NT Government as part of the scheme.
For the first time, the payment can now be used for fuel.
The VISA card is designed to make it easier for seniors to access their $500 payment which can be used towards travel (including online travel bookings), accommodation, electricity, and water.
The card will reduce the burden for seniors and allows immediate access to the payment and removes the need for reimbursement.
The payment can now also be used towards the cost of fuel, which will assist senior Territorians who drive.
The debit card will be provided to all NT Seniors Recognition Scheme members from July 2020, but members with a valid and unused travel voucher can apply later this year to change their voucher to a card.
The debit card will look and operate like a regular VISA card and it will be PIN protected. Members cannot withdraw cash.
The new debit card will be easier to manage administratively and it will deliver greater efficiencies for members, businesses and Government, as well as help prevent fraud and rorting of the scheme.
The Government introduced the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme last year to acknowledge the contribution of all senior Territorians 65 years and over, and delivered a key election commitment.
Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield said: "We have listened to members on the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme who said that they want more flexibility and choice on how they use their annual $500 payment. We are delivering that with the new debit cards which will replace the travel vouchers.
"The new debit card is a win for senior Territorians and businesses in this program, as it eases administrative burdens and ensures that we are delivering a scheme that is robust and helps to prevent fraud."
Council on the Ageing NT (COTA NT) CEO, Sue Shearer said: "This is a very early Christmas present for seniors! COTA NT has been canvassing seniors throughout the NT and the response was for a more flexible scheme with more choices and the Government has delivered on this for Territory seniors.
"This is also a win for the local economy as seniors are renowned supporters of local business and the $500 will be spent locally. COTA NT will also continue to lobby for even more selected vendors to be added so even more local businesses in the Territory can benefit."
Senior Territorians can apply for a Seniors Card (over 60 years) at: https://ntseniorscard.org.au
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