Illawarra households seeking to save money on the cost of living can use a one-stop shop to find out how they could potentially benefit from rebates and refunds.
Residents in Warrawong and surrounds can now make an appointment for help accessing more than 40 NSW Government rebates and savings from about 12 separate agencies in the one location.
During a visit to the Illawarra on Tuesday, Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello announced that the ‘Cost of Living’ service is live at Service NSW’s Warrawong Service Centre.
This is part of the statewide roll-out of the initiative.
“The NSW Government’s new ‘Cost of Living’ service will make it easier for families and individuals to potentially save hundreds of dollars,” Mr Dominello said.
“People can already access ‘Cost of Living’ programs online, but sometimes it helps to have someone talk through what a customer may be eligible for and that’s where Service NSW can help.”
Warilla man Paul McShane is a single retiree who began visiting the Warrawong Service Centre last month.
During recent visits, Mr McShane, 65, had sought assistance with an age pension card and vehicle registration.
During his second visit, he was informed about the ‘Cost of Living’ initiative.
“I had a meeting with Aleesha (Poidevin, from the Warrawong centre), and there was another $800 (savings) I wasn’t even aware of.
“It’s been very beneficial for me. Anyone who could use this, they should.”
He estimated he could save up to $1500 during his first year, due to various savings and rebates he’s potentially eligible for.
Mr Dominello said cost of living was “a real issue right across the community”.
“We have 40 different programs across 12 different agencies, and if you ask the average person to try and navigate their way through the various programs and agencies to try and save money via rebates and refunds, they’d never do it,” he said.
“And even if they could do it, it would take them days.”
He said residents can now save money and time.
Locals can go online and check their eligibility before making a booking with a specialist either online or by phone.
“A family with two children could find savings of more than $800 if they’re eligible for the Family Energy Rebate, Active Kids vouchers, CTP Green Slip refund and free rego through the Toll Relief program,” Mr Dominello said.
“Pensioner concession card holders could be eligible for savings of almost $1100 if they’re eligible for the Low Income Household Energy Rebate, CTP Green Slip refund, Appliance Replacement Offer, Pensioner Water Rebate and free rego for pensioners.”
Other rebates and savings include Fair Go for Safe Drivers, Spectacles Program and the Return and Earn scheme.
Mr Dominello was also in attendance on Tuesday for an event hosted by ITSOWEL, the Italian Social Welfare Organisation Wollongong.
After 34 years of providing assistance to Italians in the Illawarra, particularly the elderly, ITSOWEL was celebrating the purchase of the property on which they operate at 21 Stewart Street, Wollongong from NSW Land and Housing.
This will support ITSOWEL’s strategic plan for a stronger future in the aged care sector, as well as the provision of low income housing.