Seniors living in areas of harsh climates in the north of Western Australia will be eligible to receive an air-conditioning subsidy as part of a package of concessions for seniors announced today by Premier Richard Court.
Energy Minister Colin Barnett said the level of the subsidy would be equal to the cost of 200kW hours of electricity per month, or the equivalent of running an energy efficient air conditioner for six hours per day.
The subsidy is estimated to be worth an average $155 per year.
It will be available to eligible seniors in approximately 20 towns north of the 26 south latitude, and approximately 10 towns south of the 26 south latitude and north of the 50-day relative strain index line.
Mr Barnett said approximately 2,500 residences would be eligible to receive the subsidy, in the towns of Broome, Camballin, Carnarvon, Cue, Denham, Derby, Exmouth, Fitzroy Crossing, Gascoyne Junction, Halls Creek, Karratha, Koorda, Kununurra, Lake Argyle, Laverton, Leonora, Marble Bar, Meekatharra, Menzies, Mount Magnet, Nullagine, Onslow, Point Samson, Port Hedland, Roebourne, Sandstone, South Hedland, Wiluna, Wyndham, and Yalgoo.
The subsidy will take effect from July 1, 2001, along with a number of other initiatives announced today.
To be eligible, seniors must hold a WA Senior’s Card and qualify for a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) or a Commonwealth Senior’s Health Card (CSHC).
The subsidy will be available on a one per household basis and the Western Power electricity account must be in the name of the WA Senior’s Card holder.
Mr Barnett said he expected the air-conditioning subsidy would be welcomed by seniors.
“The State Government’s Five Year plan on Ageing includes a commitment to investigate the feasibility of establishing an air-conditioning subsidy for seniors in the North West and I am delighted that this is part of the package announced today by the Premier, “ he said.
“Seniors have a definite preference to remain living in the communities in which they have worked and have families and friends, and I think this air-conditioning subsidy will provide some valuable support to allow them to do so.”
Diana Callander 9222 9699