How Regional Development Investment is assisting country aged pensioners travel needs

Since 2009, over $200 million has been invested into the Country Aged Pension Fuel Card (Fuel Card).

The Fuel Card helps country pensioners who do not have access to metropolitan levels of public transport and often have to rely on their own means to travel to access essential services. When introduced in 2009, the Fuel Card allowed up to $500 a year (increased to $565 in 2015) is provided to eligible pensioners to help pay for fuel or taxi fares.

To find out how the Fuel Card investment has improved the lives of regional pensioners in Western Australia, the then

Since 2009, over $200 million has been invested into the Country Aged Pension Fuel Card (Fuel Card).

The Fuel Card helps country pensioners who do not have access to metropolitan levels of public transport and often have to rely on their own means to travel to access essential services. When introduced in 2009, the Fuel Card allowed up to $500 a year (increased to $565 in 2015) is provided to eligible pensioners to help pay for fuel or taxi fares.

To find out how the Fuel Card investment has improved the lives of regional pensioners in Western Australia, the then Department of Regional Development (DRD) undertook an evaluation.

To find out more on the Country Aged Pension Fuel Card, click here.

What is the evaluation focus?

The aim of the evaluation was to assess the impacts the Fuel Card had on pensioners in the Great Southern, Mid West, Kimberley and Wheatbelt. Particularly, to what extent the Fuel Card has:

  • Assisted recipients to afford transport costs.
  • Facilitated access to essential services.
  • Contributed to the overall well-being/quality of life of cardholders.

What did the evaluation find?

Overall, it was found that the Fuel Card was successful and widely supported by pensioners in regional communities.

The evaluation found that the Fuel Card had:

  • A seventy-six percent uptake rate, since its introduction.
  • Seventy-two percent of participants rated the scheme 10 out of 10 in terms of overall satisfaction.
  • One hundred percent of participants rated the scheme as ‘easy to use’.
  • The highest take-up rate was eighty-one percent in the South West.
  • Eighty-three percent of cardholders agreed that the Fuel Card improved their overall way of life.

It was also evident that the Fuel Card had benefitted cardholder’s way of life in six keyareas: financial, social, health care access, peace of mind, independence and freedom of movement.

The evaluation found that the Fuel Card being well received by regional pensioners. There were areas of improvements that could increase uptake, particularly in raising awareness of the program and in the application process. Actions have since been taken by DRD to address these findings.

To read more on how the Country Aged Pension Fuel Card has helped pensioners travel, click here.

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