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HomeIssue 17Seniors department 'not good business practice'

Seniors department ‘not good business practice’


Seniors Minister Lauren Moss and the official in her department in charge of the annual $500 recognition payment to Territorians over 65, Kelly Hunter, have gone to ground on issues raised by the News last week.

Ms Hunter declined to pay the amount to an Alice Springs resident of more than 30 years although the application was made on May 21.

The only obstacles to the payment were created by the department for which Minister Moss is responsible.

Sue Shearer, CEO of the Council On The Ageing (COTA), when asked for comment, says: “Thirty days to process a card is really not good business practice.

“If I lost my normal credit card it is replaced in seven days.”

COTA is dealing with more than 30,000 seniors in the NT. Her staff of two, dedicated to the Seniors Card, are issuing 300 cards a month, including replacements.

The Alice Springs applicant was told it would take a month for the application to be considered.

That month ended yesterday but no formal advice has been received as yet.

Ms Hunter claimed the process of issuing a Visa card is taking a month but the company producing the cards, as we reported, said the time was five days or less.

Using a courier service the card would have been in the hands of the senior, still having three working days to spend the funds – such as for travel – before the end of the fiscal year.

Says Ms Shearer: “If that company can do its work in five days then why does it take a further month to issue the cards?”

Neither Minister Moss nor Ms Hunter answered questions the News emailed at 12.20pm yesterday.


  1. Erwin, the way I read this is, if the 30 years resident in Alice Springs applied for the card, with the appropriately required details attached, then what else was required for seeking “approval” that would take longer than a month to process?
    Approval of what, I ask, if their attached documents completed the application process.
    Furthermore if the policy guidelines to apply for the card has no application date deadline, then surely no one should be discriminated against because of their birth date.
    I believe that the resident, as it appears, has been officially recognised before June 29 to having submitted their application and should receive it.
    Surely the card scheme must be the envy of other States and Territories and the positive message that your readers should be reading about it should be “kudos to this government scheme” and the wonderful benefits it has to offer all eligible seniors in the Northern Territory.
    This could be a case of a simple apology, fronting up and getting on with it.


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