Lake Macquarie candidate Jo Smith said children would travel for free on public transport under a Labor state government

ALL ABOARD: Labor's candidate for the seat of Lake Macquarie, Jo Smith, pictured at Booragul station. Labor is promising free public transport for children.

ALL ABOARD: Labor's candidate for the seat of Lake Macquarie, Jo Smith, pictured at Booragul station. Labor is promising free public transport for children.

LABOR candidate for Lake Macquarie Jo Smith said school children would enjoy free travel on public transport under a Labor state government.

The free travel would apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on all public transport under the initiative that was focused on “putting the family budget first”, Ms Smith said.

Additionally, all travellers using the Sydney Airport train line would see the fare reduced from $18 a passenger to $5.

If elected to power in the March state election, Labor said its Fair Fares policy would provide free travel for all children younger than 16 years of age, or while they remained at school.

“This would cover buses, trains and ferries. The policy would replace the current rules that cover travel to and from school only,” Ms Smith said.

The policy would replace the current rules that cover travel to and from school only.

- Labor candidate Jo Smith

“This will allow kids to take part in sport after school or weekend sport at no cost, as well as making it much cheaper to have a family day out in Sydney.

“Kids would also be able to travel to Newcastle Beach for free.”

Meanwhile, Ms Smith’s campaign launch was held recently at Lake Macquarie Hotel, Morisset.

Patrons heard how Ms Smith, a community advocate and manager of the Regal Cinema, spearheaded the successful eleventh-hour campaign to save the Regal Cinema in Birmingham Gardens, which led to the cinema being re-opened in 2014 as a weekend cinema after having been closed for seven years.

She is the executive director of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, an advocacy body lobbying for composers working in film and television.

Guests at the Launch included Lynda Voltz, the Shadow Minister for Sport and Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, as well as a mix of former state and federal MPs. They included John Mills, Jill Hall, John Murphy and Mary Porter, a former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly who relocated to Lake Macquarie on her retirement.

“As someone who was born and grew up in Lake Macquarie, I know it is one of the best places to live in Australia,” Ms Smith said.

“The continued downgrading of public transport, selling off of public assets, and threats to much-needed services needs to end.”

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