Transport SOS for war vets.

The West Australian 21 Aug 2019 NICK BUTTERLY

WA is likely to hand veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts substantial discounts for buses and trains as the Returned and Services League warns an increasing number of former soldiers are doing it tough.

State Veteran’s Issues Minister Peter Tinley said he was looking at slashing public transport costs for former Defence members after Upper House MP Pierre Yang called for WA to follow Queensland in introducing bus and rail discounts for soldiers.

Mr Yang, an Army Reservist, said WA should introduce 50 per cent public transport discounts for former soldiers holding the veteran’s Gold and White cards.

Mr Yang said he was encountering a growing number of former Defence members who were having trouble making ends meet and would benefit from a cut to transport costs.

He said most people thought of veterans as being older people but there was a new generation of veterans who had fought in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Mr Tinley said he was speaking with Transport Minister Rita Saffioti about introducing a discount for former soldiers.

“Such an initiative, if adopted, will bring us into line with other states — notably Queensland,” he said.

“The issue has already been discussed at Veterans Ministers Council meetings and will no doubt be discussed again at the next meeting in Canberra on Friday.”

“I have had numerous conversations with the Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, who has indicated her broad support for the proposal and I understand that she is progressing the matter with her agency.”

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