Carer concession confusion at Sale Show

A LONGFORD man left the Sale Showgrounds disappointed last Friday when he was told his carers pension card didn’t qualify him for a concession.

Unable to justify the cost of an adult ticket the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he missed out on partaking in the show festivities which would have came as a short, but much needed break from caring for his disabled wife.

Phoning the Gippsland Times shortly after the incident, the man said he was disappointed neither his carers card nor seniors card qualified him for a reduced rate of entry to the show as they might at other events.

The man claimed he was told by Sale and District Agricultural Society volunteers manning the ticket booth to write a formal letter of complaint to the show secretary for the matter to be addressed at the next committee meeting in March.

Something show organisers have confirmed.

It was not the first time to be refused a concession ticket on such grounds.

He said he was offered assurances at last year’s show that the matter would be amended in time for this year’s show. It was not.

This, he said, left him feeling even more disappointed.

Acknowledging the awkwardness of the situation Sale and District Agricultural Society president Pauline Lay said the matter would be raised at next year’s committee meeting.

“We currently offer concession rates for three pensioner cards, in the form of the aged pension, disability pension and service pension,” Mrs Lay said, indicating society members would discuss the option of including the carers pension to the approved list for future shows.

“On the day the volunteers working at the front gate operated within the rules set for the event, referring to the approved list of pensioner concessions provided by the society,” Mrs Lay said.

“At this stage we have made no provision for the carers pension,” she explained.

“Currently carers are let in for free when they bring someone in with them, (while acting in the carer role),” Mrs Lay said, explaining that the man was not given free admission because he was alone.

“(At the weekend) we didn’t have anything set up for when a carer comes in alone,” she added.

“We’re a group of volunteers trying to do our best and run a good event for the community,” Mrs Lay concluded.

Across Australia there is no consistency when it comes to pensioner concession card concessions, with approved pensioner cards varying between, states, territories and local shires.