U3A President David Parkinson at one of the North Coast Seniors Expo meetings at the Lismore Botanic Gardens.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
U3A President David Parkinson at one of the North Coast Seniors Expo meetings at the Lismore Botanic Gardens. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Until public transport improves, 'older people will suffer'

PUBLIC transport is "pitiable" on the Northern Rivers, U3A president David Parkinson said.

"Until that is improved, older people will suffer," he said.

"As you get really old you don't feel inclined to drive or sometimes you can't drive."

The Community Transport Program was an option, Mr Parkinson said, but there was still a large gap to fill in our region.

The CTP was established to help people with disabilities, people living in a remote or regional area of New South Wales or people needing to use community facilities unavailable during regular public transport operating hours.

The CTP providers in our region are Northern Rivers Community Transport, servicing Lismore, Kyogle and Richmond Valley, and the Tweed, Byron and Ballina Community Transport.

Mr Parkinson is on a pension.

He believes despite rising numbers of retirees on the Northern Rivers, pensions must always be a reliable source of income.

"The whole purpose of the pension is to provide income to old people who have retired, so I believe the pension would be sufficient in years to come," he said.

"It might be tighter than it is now but it wouldn't leave old people on the bread line or below the property line."

Mr Parkinson said living off a pension came down to knowing what you could and could not afford.

"You need to make sure you have the money available for needs such as groceries, electricity, anything that's going to effect your budget," he said.

"Whether you are using a super or pension, you have a certain amount of money there and you can't afford to throw it away.

"It's difficult being a pensioner but it's something you have to be prepared for."



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