MyWay means no way for poorest Canberrans
Local community service organisations have called on the ACT Government to take immediate action regarding MyWay tickets for people accessing emergency relief.
Recent changes to ACTION ticketing arrangements have resulted in people who access emergency relief services needing to walk long distances – often with food provided by the community organisations – to return home. Others are walking two or three suburbs to medical appointments or Centrelink appointments.
“An important part of our services has always been providing people with $2 bus tickets,” said Brian Pearce, Emergency Relief Manager at UnitingCare Kippax. “Those tickets no longer exist.”
The introduction of the MyWay ticketing system means that individuals can purchase a special concession ticket online or individuals or organisations can pay $20 for each new MyWay card.
“That is a cost that community organisations cannot afford. Our budgets are already stretched beyond capacity to meet the existing demand,” said Mr. Pearce.
Both ACTION and the ACT Department of Community Services have been aware of the issue for over a month, yet the issue remains unresolved.
“This is an unfortunate example a Government agency making decisions without adequate consideration of the way it affects all areas of our community,” said Gordon Ramsay, Team Leader at UnitingCare Kippax. “Now the wheels of Government are turning extremely slowly; the people who are suffering are the people who are already most disadvantaged.”
Kiki Korpinen, Acting Director of ACTCOSS has called on the ACT Government to resolve this matter immediately.
“ACTION must support providers of Emergency Relief with a way of providing transport assistance to clients without further delay, and without additional cost to the community organisations. We call on the Government to take immediate steps to ensure that it is no longer our community’s most vulnerable who bear the brunt of decisions such as these”.