Businesses ready, but no OPALs for Charlestown

Jodie Harrison has today called on the NSW Government to release more OPAL card retail machines, after businesses revealed they had signed up to the system but could not get the machines necessary to sell or top up OPAL cards.

“The businesses I’ve spoken to have said that only 2000 machines were made for all of NSW. These are mostly in Sydney and have left Charlestown short changed,” Ms Harrison said.

While Mike Baird has claimed the roll out of OPAL cards is complete it has taken Ms Harrison’s intervention to personally call retailers and ask them to sign up to the system, but once they are willing to sign up they can’t get a retail machine.

“I’ve contacted the Foodworks at Gateshead and the Woolworths at Charlestown, who would both be interested but they wouldn’t be able to get a retail machine,” Ms Harrison said.

“The businesses I’ve spoken to want to help people, they are just frustrated by the process,” Ms Harrison said.

“I’ll continue to talk with retailers to see how the Government can improve this system,” Ms Harrison said.

Premier Mike Baird yesterday announced that 2 million OPAL cards had been issued, but Lake Macquarie residents will be forced to travel as far as Kotara to top up their accounts until more machines are released.

“Pensioners and other residents don’t always have access to credit cards or internet to sign up to these new programs. Governments need to ensure that everyone has access to public transport and other essential Government services.” Ms Harrison said.